Ruddy Turnstone, Arenaria interpres


Ruddy Turnstone
Breeding plumage Ruddy Turnstones: above, male, with solid areas of rufous and black on the upperparts; below, female, with broken up rufous, brown, buff, and black; both show a strong black and white pattern on the head. Ruddy Turnstones breed in arctic North America and Eurasia, and winter in coastal areas worldwide. These two birds were photographed while in migration, in April and June. The Ruddy has a close relative, the Black Turnstone, whose much more restricted range is confined to the west coast of North America.


Ruddy Turnstone


Ruddy Turnstone
Above and the two below, adults in non-breeding plumage. This is the way we normally see Ruddy Turnstones along the California coast, where they are moderately common during Fall and Spring migration, and present in small numbers through the winter. The plumage can look similar to female breeding plumage on the upperparts, but the overall light brown of the head is clearly distinct from the black and white pattern of breeding plumage. Sex differences are not clearcut in non-breeding plumage, though males tend to be brighter.


Ruddy Turnstone

Ruddy Turnstone

Ruddy Turnstone
The absence of rufous, and the strong white and buff linings of the scapulars and wing coverts, mark this bird as a juvenile. The photo shows the typical foraging mode of flipping over seaweed and rocks in search of food which gives the two turnstone species their common name..