Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Ruff (Machetes pugnax), a bird of the Snipe family, the sole species of its genus. It. was formerly abundant in Britain, especially in the fenlands; but since that part of the country has been bronght under cultivation the bird has been driven from its old haunts, and is chiefly known as a visitor. The male bird is about a foot long, and in breeqmg season develops a crop of curly feathers on the sides of the head and round the neck a large ruff, which serves as a shield in its combats with its rivals. The general plumage is brown with black and white markings; the ruff varies greatly in colour. The hen-bird, or Reeve, is smaller. These birds were formerly fattened for the table.