Ruddy Turnstone | Arenaria interpres

Robert's Birding Information: Ruddy Turnstone

The Ruddy Turnstone is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Scolopacidae bird family group which includes birds such as Snipes, Godwits, Curlews, Whimbrels, Shanks, Stints, Sandpipers, Ruff, Turnstones, Phalaropes.

The description for the Ruddy Turnstone (Latin name Arenaria interpres) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Arenaria interpres can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 262 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 361. You will find a picture of the Ruddy Turnstone on page 384.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Turnstone in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Ruddy Turnstone between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The Ruddy Turnstone is known in Afrikaans as Steenloper.

The Ruddy Turnstone has a height of 25 cms and weighs around 100 gms. The head is coloured white while the bill is coloured brown. The Arenaria interpres has a black coloured throat, orange legs and a white coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is white.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is brown.

Legs are orange.

Throat is black.

Back is white.

Ruddy Turnstone Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

Ruddy Turnstone Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Ruddy Turnstone is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Ruddy Turnstone is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

It is also seen in flocks.