In posture, shape, and habits this long-distance migrant is somewhat suggestive of a golden-plover. It stands upright, has long wings and proportionally long legs and a short, straight, thin bill. The plain buffy face, and beady black eye give this species a pigeon-headed look. In all plumages, the bright white underside of the wing, with a dark bar across the base of the primaries, is distinctive. Adult: Upperparts dark brown with pale feather edges. Face and underparts buff, fading to white on the belly and vent. Legs are bright orange-yellow. Juvenile: Similar to adult, but paler below. Feathers on upperparts have dark centers and narrow buff margins creating a distinctive scaly pattern. Legs are pale yellow. Looks very long-winged in flight, with deep, powerful wingbeats. Yellow legs and needle-like bill separate this species from superficially similar golden-plovers. Very similar juv. Ruff is larger, has a heavier slightly drooped bill, looks more hump-backed, and has a white "U" at the base of the tail in flight.
Length: 19 (cm) Wingspan: 41 (cm)
Usually silent. Occasionally gives a gentle tu.
Breeds on tundra. Migrants use grassland, plowed fields, dry edges of marshes, beaches. Unlike most shorebirds, this species is rarely found in water or on wet mudflats.
Males form leks on breeding grounds, attracting females by flashing their white wing linings. May be found in migration with Upland, Pectoral, and White-rumped Sandpipers.
Feeds on terrestrial invertebrates.
Expanded Life History
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|Adult Male Description||Contribute Content|
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