Ruddy Turnstone female 6/4/18

Turnstones use their short pointy bills like shovels, digging and flipping through the rocks and seaweed at the edge of the sea for invertebrate snacks. Their bright orange legs and harlequin markings stand out in all seasons, but the rusty wings that come with breeding plumage make them one of the more colorful shorebirds on the spring beach. This one’s female, males have more black in the face and breast and the rusty patches in the wings are more distinct. They are pigeon-sized with a bolder wing pattern than most making them easy to pick out in a mixed flock of flying shorebirds. They’re long distance migrants with some traveling to the high Arctic from South America, while at the same time its not unusual to find some wintering on the Maine coast.

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