Females and winter males have brownish upperparts with white feather margins; lighter underparts; a slightly curved, medium bill; and long legs. Breeding summer males grow showy neck and head feathers with colors and patterns unique to each individual.
Very social. Flocks in large groups.
Ruffs feed on insects and earthworms.
Breeds in northern Europe. Winters in southern and western Europe, Africa, and parts of Asia. Migrates south through Jordan in autumn and north in spring. Occurs in Azraq, Kirbat al-Samra (north of Zarqa), and desert pools. Small numbers winter in Azraq.