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Home > Science > Ruddy Turnstone - Water Birds Series

Ruddy Turnstone - Water Birds Series

This page tells about the Ruddy Turnstone. It is part of our water birds series.


The Ruddy Turnstone measures about eight inches in length. It has a white head and breast with bold black markings on the face, neck, breast, and sides. Its underparts are white. The wings and back are brown with black markings. The legs and feet are red. Non-breeding and immature Ruddy Turnstones are a mottled brown with paler markings. Males and females are similar.


Aquatic invertebrates, insects, and carrion. Turnstones will often turn over rocks and shells while probing for food (hence the name).

Range and Habitat

The Ruddy Turnstone breeds above the arctic circle in northern Canada, Alaska, Europe, and Asia. It is most often seen in winter or in migration along both coasts, the Great Lakes regions, the Caribbean islands and the coasts of Mexico, Central America, and South America. Turnstones prefer tundra, beachfronts, rocky shores, and sandbars.


Populations of Ruddy Turnstones are stable.


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