Spotlight On Ohio Birds

Ruddy Turnstone– Arenaria interpres

Family: Scolopacidae

Order: Charadriiformes

Description: 8″-10″ (20-25cm) A stocky shorebird with orange legs. Upperparts mainly rusty red in Summer, brown in Winter. Underparts white. Face and breast have conspicuous black markings, duller but still visible in Winter. Bold pattern of black and white visible in flight.

Voice: A short rattling chuckle or twittering.

Habitat: Breeds on coastal tundra; Winters on rocky, pebbly, and sandy coasts and beaches.

Nesting: Oval to mildly pointed eggs that are olive or brown with dark spots or blotches.They will lay their eggs in a scrape or depression either in the ground or vegetation and line the depression with vegetation.


FYI’s: As their name suggests, they forage for food by flipping over stones and other objects.

The males will make nest like scrapes in the ground within their territory. Those scrapes are made before the female lays her eggs. These scrapes are part of the courtship ritual, even though no eggs are laid in the scrapes the male makes.

In Ohio, Spring will bring the most Ruddy Turnstones to Western Lake Erie.

Resource material provided by:

The Cornell Lab of Ornithology/

The Birds of Ohio by Bruce G. Peterjohn


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