Ruddy Turnstone

Scientific Name: Arenaria interpres

Malay Name: Kedidi-Kerikil Merah

Chinese Name: 翻石鹬

Range: Breeds in Europe, Asia and North America.  Extensive wordwide distribution in non-breeding season.

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: interpres, morinella.

Local Subspecies: interpres

Size: 21-24 cm

Identification: A rather distinctive smallish, stocky shorebird with a short stout wedge-shaped blackish bill. It has short orange legs and feet. In breeding plumage it has reddish-brown upperparts and bold black-and-white pattern on head and neck. Nonbreeding and juveniles are duller brown but still boldly patterned, with black mottling and a dark head with little white.

Habitat: Winters on coastlines. Prefers rocky and stony habitats, but also seen on beaches and mudflats.

Behaviour/Ecology: LIkes to flip over rocks, shells, seaweed and other debris to catch invertebrates. Also observed digging holes for food, and scavenging as well.

Local Status: Uncommon migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2019)

Location: Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, Mandai Mudflat, Seletar Dam, Chek Jawa at Pulau Ubin.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
Estimated average number of individuals by week based on eBird data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023
Peak week Mar 12-Mar 18
Early date 06 Jul 1996
Late date 26 Apr 1997
Earliest arrivals of this small, distinctive wader are in Aug. Most numerous at Chek Jawa, but easier seen and photographed when they sometimes appear at other shorebird sites.


BirdLife International. (2019). Arenaria interpres. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

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