The Ruddy Turnstone can be
found along the coastlines of six continents during the winter, but nest solely
in the high Arctic Tundra. They are scarce inland during migration except
around the Great Lakes. They are named after their habit of turning over
stones, shells, and pieces of wood with their beaks as they search for food,
with several birds sometimes cooperating to overturn heavier items. The
photo on the right depicts three Ruddy Turnstones (three birds toward the back
with the strong face pattern).
Habitat: Breeds on the high Arctic
Tundra. In migration and in winter, mostly found along rocky shorelines or
beaches covered with seaweed and debris.
Diet: Primarily feeds on insects during
the summer breeding season, as well as berries, seeds, and moss. During
migration and in winter, will also feed on crustaceans, mollusks, small fish,
marine worms, bird eggs, and carrion.
Nesting: Non-breeder in South Dakota
Song: Sharp low rattling.
Migration: Summers throughout the high Arctic. Winters along all
U.S. coastlines, as well as the coastlines of every continent except Antarctica.
Black Turnstone (not found in South Dakota).
Conservation Status: Generally common and widespread.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Ruddy Turnstone"
-- Ruddy Turnstone
Photo Information: May 18th, 2007 - Lake
Thompson, South Dakota - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Ruddy Turnstone photos.