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See also: fäder and fæder


Alternative forms[edit]


Learned borrowing from Old English fæder (father). Doublet of ayr, father, padre, pater, and père.


faeder (plural faeders)

  1. (ornithology) A male ruff (bird, Philomachus pugnax, syn. Calidris pugnax) that permanently mimics a female so as to gain access to mating territories and "steal" matings.
    • 2006 June 22, Joop Jukema, “Permanent female mimics in a lekking shorebird”, in Biology Letters:
      Here, we describe a rare female-like morph of ruffs: the ‘missing’ third alternative mating strategy, which we have called ‘faeder’. Faeders are slightly larger than females and in late April have testes 2.5 time the size of testes of normal males.
    • 2007, Jeroen Willem Hendrik Reneerkens, Functional aspects of seasonal variation in preen wax composition of sandpipers (Scolopacidae), page 49:
      Faeders, male ruffs that mimic females in plumage and "sneak" copulations at leks, secrete monoesters like other males.
    • 2009, Richard J. Chandler, Shorebirds of North America, Europe, and Asia: A Photographic Guide:
      It has recently been discovered that a third mating strategy exists for males - the 'faeder' or 'sneaker', which number only about 1% of the Ruff population.
    • 2016, Clifford B. Frith, Charles Darwin's Life With Birds: His Complete Ornithology[1]:
      These “faeder” males, as they are called, were found to have testes 2.5 times larger than those of normal males during the peak breeding time of late April and are delightfully termed “sneakers.”


  • faeder”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.