Philomachus pugnax, Lin.
880. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 687; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 17 ; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 429; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 248 ; Machetes pugnax, Lin.; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India ; Ibis, 1885, p. 134.
Length, 12 to 13 ; wing, 7.25 ; expanse, 22.5 ; tail, 2.5 ; tarsus, 2; bill at front, 1.3; weight, 6 oz.
In winter plumage, the male has the upper plumage variable, generally rich brown, with black central spots, and reddish or whitish edges, the head and neck usually somewhat paler; the greater-coverts barred black and reddish-brown ; primaries dusky; tail with the middle feathers barred black and reddish-brown ; the throat, forepart of the neck, and the lower parts pure white, sometimes mottled with blackish; the breast reddish or ashy-brown, with or without darker spots.
The female is much smaller, has more of an ashy tint throughout, and the feathers more or less dark centred.
Length, 9.5 to 10.5 ; wing, 6; tail, 2.2 ; tarsus, 1.6; weight, 3.5 to 4 oz.
The Ruff is a very common cold weather visitant to Guzerat, Kutch, and Jodhpore ; it is rather less common in Sind, and in the Deccan it is rare. It is one of the earliest of our winter visitants. It is excellent eating when in good condition.