Ruff Stock Video Footage


ruff

The ruff has a distinctive gravy boat appearance, with a small head, medium-length bill, longish neck and pot-bellied body. It has long legs that are variable in colour but usually yellow or orange. In flight, it has a deeper, slower wing stroke than other waders of a similar size, and displays a thin, indistinct white bar on the wing, and white ovals on the sides of the tail. This species shows sexual dimorphism. Although a small percentage of males resemble females, the typical male is much larger than the female and has an elaborate breeding plumage. He is 29–32 cm (11–13 in) long with a 54–60 cm (21–24 in) wingspan, and weighs about 180 g (6.3 oz). In the May-to-June breeding season, the typical male's legs, bill and warty bare facial skin are orange, and he has distinctive head tufts and a neck ruff. These ornaments vary on individual birds, being black, chestnut or white, with the colouring solid, barred or irregular. The grey-brown back has a scale-like pattern, often with black or chestnut feathers, and the underparts are white with extensive black on the breast. The extreme variability of the main breeding plumage is thought to have developed to aid individual recognition in a species that has communal breeding displays, but is usually mute. Outside the breeding season, the typical male's head and neck decorations and the bare facial skin are lost and the legs and bill become duller. The upperparts are grey-brown, and the unde...




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