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A medium-sized wading bird that breeds throughout northern Eurasian meadows and overwinters in the tropics, primarily in Africa. The ruff is named for the flamboyant plumage of the male during breeding season which resembles the decorative collar of the same name worn by women in the 16th and 17th centuries. This species is a rare but regular vagrant to both coasts of the United States along with the Great Lakes region, with mainly juveniles showing up in fall.
Life bird well-seen by many birders. The individual was very cooperative, spending time in the same location (SE corner of Salt Pond A12) relatively close to the trail.