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Male developing breeding plumage Photo by dacol Newnans Lake, Gainesville, Florida, USA, April 2017
26â€“32 cm (10Â¼-12Â½ in)
Variable plumaged wader; male much larger than female. Small head on long neck. Legs can be green, yellow, orange or flesh-coloured. Breeding Male
Has extra-ordinary ear tufts, crest and erectile ruff - black, brown, white; barred or streaked. Belly and sides of rump are white. Black breast. Pale narrow wing bar. Bill may be brown, red or yellow. Female, Juvenile and winter Male: brown, streaked darker above with a buffy breast.
Their feathers seem to 'ruffle' more easily in the wind than happens with other waders.
Breeds in the Arctic and sub Arctic regions of Northern Europe and Asia.
On migration can be found anywhere along the coast of Western Europe and at inland wetland sites.
Large numbers winter in East, South and West Africa, although birds may be found in India and further East. They will travel large distances on migration, birds from Eastern Siberia have been found in West Africa