Ruddy Turnstone pair, Tawas Point, MI

Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) are short, stocky shore birds. They can be found along beaches and rocky shorelines where they flip over rocks to find insects and small crustaceans underneath. They have slightly spiny feet and curved toenails as well as a low center of gravity which helps them walk on the rocks.

One of the Ruddy Turnstone’s migration flight paths is along the Delaware coast where they eat horseshoe crab eggs to fatten up. Recent crabbing activities by humans for bait have impacted these birds’ ability to gather enough food for migration. Recent conservation efforts have helped lessen the human harvest of horseshoe crabs and helped the birds.

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