Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2013-71

Common name:


Scientific name: Philomachus pugnax
Date: 09/28/2013
Time: 11:40 AM
Length of time observed: 8 minutes
Number: 1
Age: ?
Sex: ?
Location: Ogden Bay WMA, along North dike just east of man bridge
County: Weber
Distance to bird: 90 yards
Optical equipment: Vortex 15x45x60 HD spotter, Pentax binos.
Weather: Clear and sunny
Light Conditions: Good
Description:        Size of bird: 11"
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Yellowlegs but more plump
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Mottled gray on top with white edges to feathers, white below
(Description:)            Bill Type: Short, tubular
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:

I was unable to obtain a photo of this bird before a Harrier came in and mixed them up. Bird was in with Greater and Lesser Yellowlegs for plumage and size comparison. Was about the size of the Lesser Yellowlegs with a more plump body and a shorter, more tubular, bill. Yellowish legs. Black eye with a slight eye line behind eye. Was feeding in the same motion as the yellowlegs but with a bit aster of a pace. Feathers on back were more distinct than yellowlegs due to white edges. I debated on reporting this bird because of the rarity and I didn't have a photo. I wasn't able to find the bird again as I returned the next morning.

Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: It was feeding in the same motion as the surrounding Yellowlegs but at a faster pace.
Habitat: Marsh, shallow water and mud.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Yellowlegs. Ruff had a shorter, more tubular, bill and a deeper chest ( more plump in appearance).lacked eye ring. Yellow legs and size eliminated most others.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
None with a ruff.
References consulted: Everything I could find. Internet, multiple field guides and Flickr.
Description from: Notes taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Mike Hearell
Observer's address: 173 W 1825 N
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 10/14/2013
Additional material: