may show hints of the cape in all plumages (California, USA; 2007-10-13)

Philomachus pugnax

Native Range: Eurasia

Notes: a rather large sandpiper with many biological peculiarities including: strong sexual dimorphism with males about 20% larger than females; plump body with long legs; males with bright breeding plumages that they dramatically display on communal courtship areas (leks); and males with large expandable cape-like 'ruffle' of feathers around the head, neck, and upper breast; in Europe, male is called a ruff and female is called a reeve; occasional vagrants from Eurasia appear in the Americas.

frontal view; plain unmarked buffy breast (California, USA; 2007-10-13)

dorsal view; short, slightly downturned bill (California, USA; 2007-10-13)

whitish feathers around base of bill (California, USA; 2007-10-13)

cape or ruff sometimes protrudes a lot (California, USA; 2007-10-13)

non-breeding plumage (Zoo; 2008-11-30)