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Ruddy Turnstone


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.

At a GlanceHelp

Both Sexes
8.3–6.3 in
21–16 cm
19.7–22.4 in
50–57 cm
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.
  • The oldest recorded Ruddy Turnstone was a female, and at least 14 years, 11 months old, when she was recaptured and rereleased during a scientific study in new jersey.



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



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


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 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


status via IUCN

Least Concern

There is little information on Rudy Turnstone population trends and numbers. A 2012 study found no new information on population status of the three subspecies in North America, and therefore the latest estimates are from a 2006 study, which estimates a total of 245,000 breeding Ruddy Turnstone in North America. However, populations appear to have declined between the 1970s and 2011, so the total population may have decreased since this 2006 estimate. Ruddy Turnstone is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List.


Range Map Help

Ruddy Turnstone Range Map
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