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What am I?

The ruff is a medium-sized wading bird. It has a long neck, a small head, a rather short slightly droopy bill and medium-long orange or reddish leg. In flight it shows a faint wing-stripe and oval white patches either side of the tail.

How to spot them

Most ruff you will see are fairly plain-looking waders, with a longish neck and small head. Ruff have a short, slightly down-curved bill and orangey-yellow legs.

Where to see them

Migrating ruff can be found at wetlands.

Conservation status

The ruff is red listed in the UK. (Opens in a new window)

Did you know?

Female ruff are called ‘reeves’ and are much smaller than their mates. Male ruff use the large ruff of feathers around their necks in showy displays to attract females. Males with white ruffs are known as ‘satellites’ and are not usually dominant enough to mate with females, but will sneak couplings when they can.

ruff bird