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Ruddy Turnstone

Arenaria interpres ORDER: CHARADRIIFORMES FAMILY: SCOLOPACIDAE

IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A stocky, brightly patterned shorebird, the Ruddy Turnstone can be seen actively pecking, probing, and flipping over stones along rocky shores.

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At a GlanceHelp

Measurements
Both Sexes
Length
8.3–6.3 in
21–16 cm
Wingspan
19.7–22.4 in
50–57 cm
Weight
3–6.7 oz
84–190 g
Other Names
  • Tournepierre à collier (French)
  • Vuelvepiedras rojizo (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • The male Ruddy Turnstone makes nest-like scrapes in the ground within his territory, often close to the final site selected by the female. The male's scrapes are made before the female starts to lay eggs, and are part of the courtship and nest site selection process. No eggs are laid in the scapes the male makes.
  • As their name suggests, turnstones often forage by turning over stones and other objects.

Habitat


Shore-line

Breeds on rocky arctic coasts and tundra. On migration and in winter, mostly along rocky shores, but also sand beaches and mudflats.

Food


Insects

Aquatic invertebrates and insects. Also carrion, garbage, and bird's eggs.

Nesting

Nesting Facts
Egg Description
Oval to mildly pointed, olive or brown with dark brown spots and blotches.
Condition at Hatching
Active and covered with down. Leave nest and feed themselves in first day.
Nest Description

Scrape or depression in ground or vegetation. Lined with some vegetation.

Nest Placement

Ground

Behavior


Ground Forager

Uses oddly-shaped bill to flip and turn stones, algae, sticks, and other items to find food underneath. Probes in cracks. Pecks at food on surface of rocks

Conservation

status via IUCN

Least Concern

Populations relatively stable.

Credits

  • Nettleship, D. N. 2000. Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres). In The Birds of North America, No. 537 (A. Poole and F. Gill, eds.). The Birds of North America, Inc., Philadelphia, PA.

Range Map Help

Ruddy Turnstone Range Map
View dynamic map of eBird sightings