Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)


The Turnstone has a length of 23 cm and weighs between 80-110 g. They have orange legs, and a short black bill. They have a black and white pattern on their wings and tail, as well as streaks across their shoulders to their rump. Their summer plumage has a black pattern that spreads around their breast to their shoulder, around their bill and across their nape. They have a chestnut back and wings.


The Turnstone can inhabit practically any area not too far from the sea worldwide and tend to breed in the arctic tundra


Ruddy Turnstones’ feed on invertebrates, where it’s usually insects in the summer and marine invertebrates in the winter. They can also forage on decaying animals, eggs and plant material.

Protection Status 

This species is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Interesting facts

As their name suggests, they often flip over stones and objects to reveal and eat prey hiding underneath.They have even been observed to prey on eggs of other bird species, even their own!

Turnstones display several behaviours to locate and capture prey, from flicking piles of seaweed to expose hidden crustaceans, to probing the ground to reveal prey, using their beak as a hammer if the prey has a shell to crack it open.

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