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Ruff | Philomachus pugnax

The Ruff is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Scolopacidae bird family group which includes birds such as Snipes, Godwits, Curlews, Whimbrels, Shanks, Stints, Sandpipers, Ruff, Turnstones, Phalaropes.

The description for the Ruff (Latin name Philomachus pugnax) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Philomachus pugnax can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 284 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 376. You will find a picture of the Ruff on page 384.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Ruff between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Ruff is known in Afrikaans as Kemphaan.

The Ruff has a height of 30 cms and weighs around 170 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured black. The Philomachus pugnax has a white, black coloured throat, black legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is grey

Eyes are brown

Bill is black

Legs are black

Throat is white, black

Back is grey

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Ruff is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests

You can see the Ruff bird on coastal regions and on the sea shore where the bird will be foraging with other birds

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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