Ruddy turnstones

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Project Description

Ruddy Turnstone

Arenaria interpres

 

Range/Geographical Distribution: Breeds in northwestern Alaska and the Canadian Arctic. Spends its winters along the Atlantic coast south of Connecticut.

Habitat: Breeds on coastal tundra. Spends its winters on coastal beaches. 

Similar Species: Sanderling, willet, and dunlin. 

Description:  Stocky shorebird with bright orange legs and rusty brown coloration on its back and wings. Distinct black marks can be seen on its face and chest.  

Size: Length: 6-8” Wingspan: 19-22” Weight: 84-190g

Food: Aquatic invertebrates and insects as well as carrion, garbage, and bird eggs.

Breeding:  Lays four spotted olive eggs in a hollow lined with grasses and leaves on the coastal tundra.

Predators:  Large birds of prey, feral cats, and wild boars. 

Conservation Status: Listed as least concern by IUCN.

Interesting Facts: Ruddy turnstones get their names from their method of foraging for food. They walk along the beach, overturning stones and grabbing the animals hiding underneath.

On the Coast: The ruddy turnstone spends the winter months along Georgia’s coast. They can be seen near the jetties on Tybee Island’s south end.

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