Ruff (Philomachus pugnax), Phoenix, Maricopa County
This Ruff was
discovered and photographed by Bob Witzeman on 13 February 2009 at the Agua Fria
recharge ponds (north of Camelback Rd. on 107th Ave.) in NW Phoenix.
There are five previously accepted records of Ruff in Arizona with two
additional documented reports pending with the Arizona Bird Committee. Of the
documented occurrences, five have been in Maricopa County.
In basic plumage,
Ruff is one of the more nondescript shorebirds. Its overall plain drab
appearance is itself a field mark because it lacks many of the distinctive field
marks of other shorebirds. Its shape is very distinctive with a plump body and
small head. The straight, medium length stout bill is another good field mark as are the orangish legs (when present). Another feature, seen in
the first two photos, is that the long scapulars often stick up from the back when the bird forages. In flight, Ruff has a diagnostic U-shaped white rump patch.
13 February 2009, photos by Bob WitzemanAll photos are copyrighted© by photographer
Map to the intersection mentioned above. Ponds NW of here?
Submitted on 19 February 2009