RUDDY TURNSTONE

RUDDY TURNSTONE (Arenaria interpres)
DESCRIPTION: The Ruddy turnstone is a shorebird in the Sandpiper family. In breeding plumage the top parts are mottled reddish brown. The reddish color disappears in the non-breeding plumage. The head is white with black stripes on the cap. The breast is black and forms two curves. The under parts are white. The bill is dark grey and the eyes are black. The legs and feet are orange. To help them keep balance on slippery rocks, they have short legs, small spines on their feet and curved toenails. Sexes are similar, but females have duller colors. The juvenile looks very different, Ruddy turnstones are about 9 inches (22 cm) long.
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Arenaria-interpres
NAME: The English name ‘Turnstone’ refers to the feeding behavior of this bird, literally turning over stones to find invertebrates under them. The name ‘ruddy’ refers to the color of the bird’s breast. The Latin species name ‘Arenaria’ refers to sand (arena) for the bird’s habitat. As for ‘interpres’, the species name, it means ‘tell-tale’ in this context, because the ruddy turnstone alerts other shorebirds of the presence of predators with its calls.
HABITAT: During breeding season: tundra coastlines; elsewhere, prefers rocky beaches or human-made structures such as sea walls or jetties.
DIET: Omnivorous and opportunistic – insects, berries, crustaceans, molluscs, eggs from other bird species, even carrion and human food waste.
NESTING: The nest is a shallow depression on the ground and may be located on rocks or vegetation. An average of four light green eggs are laid. Chicks can feed themselves but are protected by their parents.
DISTRIBUTION: Ruddy turnstones breed in the Arctic around the world. They are long distance migrants and fly as far south as New Zealand (see reference below).
ON PEI: The ruddy turnstone is fairly common on Prince Edward Island beaches in the fall, during its migration south.
CONSERVATION: The population of the ruddy turnstone appears stable and is sufficiently large and widespread to be of ‘least concern’.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Black Turnstone
REFERENCES: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruddy_turnstone
https://abcbirds.org/bird/ruddy-turnstone/
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Ruddy_Turnstone/overview
http://birdweb.org/birdweb/bird/ruddy_turnstone
https://www.thespruce.com/ruddy-turnstone-3884277
http://www.arkive.org/ruddy-turnstone/arenaria-interpres/
http://www.nzbirdsonline.org.nz/species/ruddy-turnstone

Ruddy turnstone, adult - Brackley Beach, PEI - May 3, 2017 - by Richard Smith
Ruddy turnstone, adult – Brackley Beach, PEI – May 3, 2017 – by Richard Smith
Ruddy Turnstone - St. George Island State Park, FL - Apr. 2, 2018 - photo by Roberta Palmer
Ruddy Turnstone – St. George Island State Park, FL – Apr. 2, 2018 – Roberta Palmer
Ruddy turnstones, nonbreeding adults - Beach Point, PEI - Sept. 14, 2017 - © Chris Rice
Ruddy turnstones, nonbreeding adults – Beach Point, PEI – Sept. 14, 2017 – Chris Rice
Ruddy turnstone in flight - Brackley Beach, PEI - May 3, 2017 - by Richard Smith
Ruddy turnstone in flight – Brackley Beach, PEI – May 3, 2017 – by Richard Smith
Ruddy Turnstone flipping a rock taller than itself - Chris Rice
Ruddy Turnstone flipping a rock taller than itself – Beach Point, PEI – Sept. 14, 2017 Chris Rice
Ruddy Turnstone juvenile -Savage Harbor, PEI - Sept. 2016 - © Marie Smith
Ruddy Turnstone juveniles look very different than adults -Savage Harbor, PEI – Sept. 2016 – © Marie Smith
Ruddy Turnstone non-breeding adult, front view - Borden, PEI - Sept. 2, 2013
Ruddy Turnstone non-breeding adult, front view – Borden, PEI – Sept. 2, 2013 – Roberta Palmer

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