Ruff ( Philomachus pugnax, family: Scolopacidae)

ruff kruger national park birds The Ruff (Latin name Philomachus pugnax) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 284 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 376 also a picture of the Ruff on page 384. The Ruff belongs to the family of birds classified as Scolopacidae.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the Ruff was called the

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Ruff is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common summer visitor

In terms of distribution of the Ruff in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Ruff : see above distribution map.

The Ruff.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

The Ruff is a bird about the same size as a starling. The height of the Ruff is about 30 cms and its weight is about 170 gms

The male and female Ruff have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is grey.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is white, black.
  • Back is grey.
  • Legs are black.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Ruff feeds on the ground and in or around water mainly

Aquatic life forms

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Ruff takes on more than a single mate (it is bigamous).

The nesting habit of Ruff is extra limital

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Ruff are: wetlands and riverine areas

You will normally see the Ruff in pairs or flocks and not as single birds.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Kemphaan

German ... Kampflufer

Portuguese ... Combatente

French ... Combattant vari

Dutch ... Kemphaan

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 284

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,