Ruff

Calidris pugnax

Order

CHARADRIIFORMES

Family

Sandpipers, Phalaropes (Scolopacidae)

Code 4

RUFF

Code 6

PHIPUG

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Ruff is a medium wading bird which breeds in bogs, marshlands and wet meadows with plenty of low vegetation. Breeding ranges span throughout northern Europe and Russia. This species is migratory, flying to warmer climates in southern and Western Europe, Africa and India during winter months. The Ruff is rarely found in North America, and has been known to nest in Alaska. Nests are hidden on the ground, and three to four eggs are included in each nesting season. Food is found by foraging in the wetlands surrounding their natural habitat, eating mainly insects and earthworms. The conservation rating for the Ruff is currently listed as Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Ruff: This large sandpiper has variably-colored frilly tufts on the neck, ranging from black to rufous, to white to speckled and barred. It has an orange-brown head, white belly, orange bill with dark drooped tip and orange-yellow legs. The female lacks ruff and is smaller than the male. Diet includes seeds, insects and other invertebrates. Low, direct flight with rapid wing beats.

 

Range and Habitat

Ruff: Breeds in Eurasia; occasionally nests in northwestern Alaska. Winters mainly in Africa; rare but regular migrant to Hawaii, Alaska, and the east coast of North America. Breeds on lowland grassy wet meadows; winters on wet meadows, muddy fringes of pools and lakes, and brackish coastal lagoons.

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Ruff SONGS AND CALLS

Ruff L1

"Tu-tu" calls.

Ruff L2

Calls from a small flock as they forage.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"tu-wit"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Ruffs are highly gregarious, with a wintering flock of 1 million birds reported in Senegal.
  • It is usually considered the only member of its genus Philomachus, but more recent research indicates that the Broad-billed and Sharp-tailed Sandpiper may belong there too.
  • The males display at a lek during the breeding season, standing erect, crouching or taking a variety of postures with the ruff erected.
  • A group of ruffs are collectively known as a "collar" and a "hill" of ruffs."

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

RANGE MAP HAWAII

About this Hawaii Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Hawaiian island.

RANGE MAP PALAU

About this Palau Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Palau islands.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Yury Lisyak

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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RuffX
A fringe of feather growth on the neck of a male bird used in courtship displays.
BellyX
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X