How to identify

The Ruff is a medium-sized wading bird. It has a long neck, a small head, a short, slightly droopy bill and medium-long orange or reddish legs. In flight, it shows a faint wing-stripe and oval white patches either side of the tail. It breeds in just a few lowland sites in eastern England and it appears numbers are dropping. It's usually a migrant bird but, in the UK, some birds are present all year round. Many young birds from Scandinavia visit the UK in late summer, before migrating on to Africa. It is listed under Schedule 1 of The Wildlife and Countryside Act.


  1. Resident
  2. Passage
  3. Summer
  4. Winter
* This map is intended as a guide. It shows general distribution rather than detailed, localised populations.
  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec

Key facts

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