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Ruff Philomachus pugnax L 23-29cm. Variable wader but rather small head is a consistent feature. Has slightly downcurved bill, orange-yellow legs and, in flight, narrow white wingbar and white sides to rump. Male is smaller than female and, in breeding season, has unique head decorations. Adult male in summer has brownish upperparts, many feathers with black tips and bars. On breeding grounds, briefly has facial warts and variably coloured ruff and crest feathers. Adult female in summer has grey-brown upperparts, many feathers with dark tips and bars; underparts are pale. Winter adult has rather uniform grey-brown upperparts and pale underparts. Juvenile recalls winter adult but has buff suffusion and scaly-looking back. Voice Mostly silent. Status Rare breeding species on freshwater wetlands. Fairly common passage migrant, favouring coastal freshwater pools; scarce in winter.