Ruff: a rare breeder in the Netherlands!

Ruff was formerly a characteristic breeding bird of open, wet and extensively used grasslands. But due to agricultural intensification and drainage the breeding population collapsed in 1970 – 2000. Yearly 15 – 30 breeding pairs in special areas. (Sovon Vogelonderzoek Nederland 2018, Vogelatlas van Nederland.)

Male ruff (kemphaan)
Female ruff (kemphen)

The posted ruffs are most likely passing birds on their way to northern regions. But the passing numbers are a fraction of those in the 1980s. Wintering numbers about one thousand in mild winters. (Sovon Vogelonderzoek Nederland 2018, Vogelatlas van Nederland.)