Ruddy Turnstone- Arenaria interpres

by Bryce W. Robinson

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It’s been a real treat to see the Ruddy Turnstone on its breeding grounds. These birds have quite a story. Their name is fitting, as they are known to turn stones in search for food, but even more incredible in my eyes is a peculiar piece of their diet. The Ruddy Turnstone eats the eggs of other nests, a behavior quite unlike any other shorebird that I know. They are also quite tenacious. I’ve observed these birds chasing jaegers out of their territory, and while I was taking some time to watch and photograph a pair, they were unreserved in expressing their intolerance of my intrusion. It’s expected when I am hazed by territorial jaegers, but having a turnstone flying at my face comes rather unanticipated. It’s an experience worth having, trust me.