Barbara Williams was able to locate an adult male Ruff in transitioning alternate plumage to basic plumage at Nygren Wetland Preserve in Winnebago County, Illinois this morning (8/15) during fall migration 2023. Photo: John Longhenry

On Tuesday, August 15, we were notified that a Ruff was seen in the big marsh at Nygren Wetland Preserve. Our Exeuctive Director, Alan Branhagen, was able to go there right away to check it out. Thank you to Barbara Williams who identified it and let us know. Many other birders made their way there to take a look that day, too. The best spot to see it was on the east end of the marsh/wetland where the two benches are located (see photos below) along the Dianne Nora Nature Trail.

This was the first sighting of this shorebird in Winnebago County and at Nygren Wetland Preserve, and noteworthy because it was the second time in two weeks that a bird species was seen for the first time at Nygren and in the County. (A Limpkin was first seen at Nygren on Aug. 5, 2023. Read about it here.)

While not native to North America, the Euroasian Ruff is considered “one of the most regular and widespread (shorebirds) in its occurence”, according to Audubon.org. They are known for their strange and unusual looking plummage and courtship rituals.

Read more about the Ruff here.

 

Looking at the Ruff in the big marsh, Nygren Wetland Preserve. Photo: Alan Branhagen

 

Looking at the Ruff in the big marsh at Nygren Wetland Preserve. Photo: Alan Branhagen

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