Philomachus pugnax   Linnaeus,  1758 (Bird)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Aves

Image copyrights: Pbase

Size: 26-32 cm.

Voice: Generally silent, low chugh-chugh.

Habits: Gregarious, generally in small flocks of about 25 birds in company of other waders, though may congregate in large number at arrival and departure time in NW India and on chosen feeding grounds. Starts arriving by August / September and departs by February / March.

Non-breeding (winter): A greyish-brown wader with bold scaly-patterned upperparts, relatively short, dark brown bill with yellowish base, varying-orange-yellow legs. Breeding (summer): Upperparts of both sexes blackish, feathers edged with buff or rufous, breast flanks etc. suffused with brown. Male (Ruff): Face covered with yellow caruncles and grows an enormous ruff, extending form nape to cover the entire breast. The ruff may be of any colour-chestnut, buff, white, black or grey. Female (Reeve): Upperparts blackish, sometimes with black linear spots or broken bars on pale fulvous breast.

Breeding season: It breeds from May to August. Nest- The nest is a shallow scrape concealed in marsh vegetation or meadow grass on damp ground usually more than 100 m away from the nearest lek site. The species nests solitarily or semi-colonially, neighbouring nests occasionally only a few metres apart.

Synonym (s)
Tringa pugnax (Linnaeus, 1758)

Common Name (s)
• Bagbed (Hindi)
• Reeve (English)
• Ruff (English)
• Tiliyo (Gujarati)
• Gehwala (Hindi)
• Geh-wala (Hindi)
• Bagbad (Hindi)
• Bahuvarnan manaloothi (Malayalam)
• Vara cheravi (Tamil)
• Gherbala, Galabandh panlawa (Marathi)
• Geowala
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(A good sporting bird.)
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(The species is threatened by petroleum pollution wetland and flood-plain drainage (for irrigation and water management) peat-extraction, and land abandonment and changing land management practices that lead to scrub and reed overgrowth.)
Threats:  Natural threats
(The species may also suffer future population declines and range contractions as a result of global climate change and is susceptible to avian influenza avian botulism and avian malaria so may be threatened by future outbreaks of these diseases.)

Habitat:  Estuarine, Muddy
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Mainly carnivorous, comprising molluscs, crustaceans, aquatic insects, occasionally exclusively on aquatic plants.
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• Manipur (Lat: 24.68) (Long: 93.90) INDIA
• Assam (Lat: 26.21) (Long: 92.93) INDIA
• Kashmir (Lat: 34.30) (Long: 76.81) INDIA
• Gujarat, Gulf of Kachchh (Lat: 22.6) (Long: 69.5) INDIA
• Goa, Agarwaddo marshes INDIA (Record: 08/11/1983)
• Goa, Baga INDIA
• Goa, Chorao INDIA
• Goa, Divar INDIA
• Goa, Carambolim INDIA
• Goa, Neura INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pichavaram INDIA (Record: 08/1986 - 07/1987)
• Tamil Nadu, Point Calimere (Lat: 10.3) (Long: 79.85) INDIA
• Haryana, Kurukshetra INDIA
• Kerala, Kol wetlands (Lat: 10.66) (Long: 76.18) INDIA
• Orissa, Chilika Lake INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Pulicat Lake INDIA
• Orissa, Bhitarkanika INDIA
• Arunachal Pradesh, Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary INDIA
• Delhi, Okhla barrage bird sanctuary INDIA
• Gujarat, Bet Dwarka INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Muthupet Mangroves (Lat: 10.33) (Long: 79.58) INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • (2001) Sanctuary Asia natural history species: Species checklist: Birds Sanctuary Asia Sanctuary Magazine Available at -
  • Mukherjee, AK (1995) Birds of arid and semi-arid tracts Occasional paper no 142 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 1-303 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Mahabal, A and Lamba, BS (1987) On the birds of Poona and vicinity Occasional paper no 94 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI, Calcutta 1-115 Available at - NCL, Pune
  • UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre Available at -
  • Nandi, NC; Das, SR; Bhuinya, S and Dasgupta, JM (1993) Wetland faunal resources of West Bengal, I., north and south 24-Parganas districts Occasional paper no 150 Records of the Zoological Survey of India ZSI 18264
  • Fauna of Tripura (part-1) vertebrates ZSI, Kolkata 365 pp
  • Subba Rao, NV and Sastry, DRK (2005) Fauna of Marine National Park, Gulf of Kuchchh (Gujarat) ZSI 79 pp Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Kumar, A; Sati, JP; Tak, PC and Alfred, JRB (2005) Handbook on Indian wetland birds and their conservation Zoological Survey of India, Dehra Dun 468 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Lainer, H (2004) Birds of Goa : A reference book The Goa Foundation, Goa 244 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Ali, S (1977) The book of Indian birds Bombay Natural History Society 175 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • PBase Available at -
  • Sampath, K and Krishnamurthy, K (1990) Shorebirds (Charadriiformes) of the Pichavaram Mangroves, Tamil Nadu, India Wader Study Group Bulletin 58 24-27 Available at -
  • (1997) Coastal marine environment of Gujarat 178pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Vernacular names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent Buceros, Envis newsletter: Avian Ecology & Inland Wetlands 62pp Available at -
  • Avibase- the world database Available at -
  • Myers, P; Espinosa, R; Parr, CS; Jones, T; Hammond, GS and Dewey, TA (2006) Animal diversity web Available at -
  • Lal Mohan RS (1986) Birds and Bird Catchers Of Ramanathapuram Coast Available at -
  • Gupta RC, Kaushik TK and Gupta PK (2012) WINTER MIGRATORY WETLAND BIRDS IN HARYANA ARE CONFRONTING ADVERSE CONDITIONS IN RURAL PONDS Resulting in reduction in arrival number: A case study of village Amin in Thanesar block in Kurukshetra district Indian Journal of Fundamental and Applied Life Sciences 2 (1) 7pp Available at -
  • Sivaperuman C and Jayson EA (2000) Birds of Kol wetland, Thrissur, Kerala Zoo's print journal 15(10) 344-349pp Available at -
  • Manakadan R and Pittie A (2001) Standardized English names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent BUCEROS Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetland 6(1) 26pp Available at -
  • Kumar A, sati JP and Tak CK (2003) Checklist of Indian Waterbids Buceros Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetlands 8(1) 30pp Available at -
  • Nayak, A.K. (2006) Status of migratory shorebirds at Bhitarkanika and Chilika wetlands on the east coast of India Waterbirds around the world. Eds. G.C. Boere, C.A. Galbraith & D.A. Stroud The Stationery Office, Edinburgh, UK 305-307pp Available at -
  • Rao VV, Anjaneyulu M, Nagulu V, Srinivasulu C and Satyanarayana D (2004) Water fowl Status at Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh EPTRI - ENVIS Newsletter 10(4) 7-12pp Available at -,%20No.4,%202004.pdf
  • Urfi AJ (2003) The birds of Okhla barrage bird sanctuary, Delhi, India Forktail 19 39-50pp Available at -
  • Urfi AJ (2002) Waders and other wetland birds on Byet Dwarka Island, Gulf of Kutch, western India Wader Study Group Bull. 31-34 Available at -
  • Deiva Oswin S (1999) Avifaunal diversity of Muthupet mangrove forest Zoo's print journal 14(6) 47-53 Available at -
  • Gopi GV and Pandav B (2007) Avifauna of Bhitarkanika Mangroves, India Zoo's print journal 22(10) 2839-2847pp Available at -
  • Ali S and Ripley SD (1969) Handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan Oxford university press 2 1-337pp Available at - NIO

Page last updated on:2013-01-30

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