Ruddy Turnstone

General description.

The Ruddy Turnstone gets its name by the way it feeds, turning over small stones and clamshells with its sturdy, slightly upturned bill, seeking food other birds have missed. The Turnstone will also use its entire body to push against an obstacle to unearth a delicious morsel.

Female appearance.

Where the male is orange above, the female is a spotted brown. Both have buff undersides.

Breeding habits.

The Ruddy Turnstone is one of the most northerly breeding species of shorebird, from the Alaskan Tundra to Greenland.

Calls or song.

Highly vocal and noisy, the Ruddy Turnstone uses a series of calls, from a rattle to short, staccato chuckling and a twittering, "kitititit".

Population and distribution.

This bird is very abundant, and can be found on both coasts. In winter, it travels as far south as South America and the South Pacific, living on rocky and stoney beaches.

Nesting habits.

They lay 4 pale olive eggs with brown spots in a hollow on the ground, lined with grass and dead leaves. This they hide under a low bush.
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