Ruddy Turnstones in breeding and nonbreeding plumage

Ruddy Turnstone in nonbreeding plumageRuddy Turnstone in nonbreeding plumage – Nikon D200, handheld, f8, 1/500, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 310mm, natural light

This is an image of a Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) in nonbreeding plumage that was taken at Fort De Soto’s north beach in Florida during the month of March a few years ago. The edges of the scapulars and coverts show wear, the face and back are brownish.

Ruddy Turnstone in breeding plumageMale Ruddy Turnstone in breeding plumage – Nikon D200, handheld, f9, 1/500, ISO 160, Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 240mm, natural light

The image above shows a male Ruddy Turnstone in breeding plumage, this photo was also taken at Fort De Soto’s north beach in the month of May a few years ago. Breeding males are brighter and more colorful than breeding females. The males are striking with their black, white and ruddy calico pattern.

During migration some Ruddy Turnstones do stop over in Utah but I haven’t been able to approach them close enough to get quality images.


*I am away for a while so I have prescheduled this post, please feel free to share it with your friends & family

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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. Wow, what a difference, I would never have been able to tell they are the same bird. Awesome post, thanks again for sharing:)

  2. Beautiful pics, love the comparison!

  3. I can’t tell you, how valuable these photos are to me to be able to study the feathering of birds. While I seldom like to draw a bird in profile like this, I rely so much on being able to view photographs that document the way a bird is constructed…in order for me to get inside the bird… In gratitude, Merrill

  4. I love seeing the breeding/non-breeding shots side-by-side, Mia. I’ve never seen a Ruddy Turnstone – now I know what to look for when we’re in Florida!

  5. Another set of great images Mia! Being british, ‘Ruddy’ was a word my mum used endlessly when I was growing up, so I always think of her when i see these guys.

  6. Well these are pretty quality anyway! Turnstones are super birds, pulling off one of the greatest plumage transformations in North America.

  7. Incredible images Mia! Beautiful colors!

  8. The browns, vibrant patterns are so prominent.

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