The Ruff (Philomachus pugnax) is a medium-sized wading bird that breeds in marshes and wet meadows across northern Eurasia. This highly gregarious sandpiper is migratory and sometimes forms huge flocks in its winter grounds, which include southern and western Europe, Africa, southern Asia and Australia. It is usually considered to be the only member of its genus, and the Broad-billed and Sharp-tailed Sandpipers are its closest relatives.

The Ruff is a long-necked, pot-bellied bird. This species shows marked sexual dimorphism; the male is much larger than the female (the reeve), and has a breeding plumage that includes brightly coloured head tufts, bare orange facial skin, extensive black on the breast, and the large collar of ornamental feathers that inspired this bird's English name. The female and the non-breeding male have grey-brown upperparts and mainly white underparts. Three differently plumaged types of male, including a rare form that mimics the female, use a variety of strategies to obtain mating opportunities at a lek, and the colourful head and neck feathers are erected as part of the elaborate main courting display. The female has one brood per year and lays four eggs in a well-hidden ground nest, incubating the eggs and rearing the chicks, which are mobile soon after hatching, on her own. Predators of wader chicks and eggs include mammals such as foxes, feral cats and stoats, and birds such as large gulls, corvids and skuas.

The Ruff forages in wet grassland and soft mud, probing or searching by sight for edible items. It primarily feeds on insects, especially in the breeding season, but it will consume plant material, including rice and maize, on migration and in winter. Classified as "least concern" on the IUCN Red List criteria, the global conservation concerns are relatively low because of the large numbers that breed in Scandinavia and the Arctic. However, the range in much of Europe is contracting because of land drainage, increased fertiliser use, the loss of mown or grazed breeding sites, and over-hunting. This decline has seen it listed in the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA).

Read more about RuffTaxonomy and Nomenclature, Description, Distribution and Habitat, Relationship With Humans, Conservation Status

Other articles related to "ruff, ruffs":

Chuck Ruff (musician) - Biography
... Ruff was born in Reno, Nevada on May 25, 1951 and played in the rock group Sawbuck with Ronnie Montrose and Bill Church from 1968–1970 ... Ruff and Montrose later joined Edgar Winter with Dan Hartman to form The Edgar Winter Group in 1972 ... In 1977, Ruff joined Sammy Hagar and performed on the albums Street Machine (1979) and Danger Zone (1979), including the song "Bad Reputation" which is in the film Up the Academy ...
Snake River Conspiracy - Unreleased Songs
344 Lyrics Have Been Leaked "Automatic" 359 Has a "Ruff" remix (348) "Dollar At A Time" 309 "Drug Tongue" 413 / 356 Martina Axen and Tobey Torres have recorded ...
Marty Ruff
... Marty Ruff (born May 19, 1963, in Warburg, Alberta) is a former professional ice hockey defenceman ... brother of former Buffalo Sabres head coach Lindy Ruff ...
List Of Fetch! With Ruff Ruffman Episodes - Season One: 2006 - Episodes
2 "Good Dancing and Bad Teeth" May 27, 2006 (2006-05-27) 102 Ruff find out Charlene won't go out with him because he has bad breath ... So Ruff sends Julia and Khalil to learn how to dance the waltz, while Anna and Brian investigate whether dog mouths are cleaner than human mouths 4 ... "How To Get Out Your Inner ... For Breakfast" June 8, 2006 (2006-06-08) 108 Ruff must sell his new beverage ...
Ruff - Conservation Status
... The Ruff has a large range, estimated at 1–10 million square kilometres (0.38–3.8 million square miles) and a population of at least 2,000,000 birds ... Numbers in Asia do not appear to be declining, and more Ruffs are wintering in Africa ... For these reasons, the Ruff is classified as "least concern" ...

Famous quotes containing the word ruff:

    My great brother
    Lord of the Song
    wears the ruff of
    forest bear.
    Denise Levertov (b. 1923)