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Ruddy Turnstone – Sandy Hook, New Jersey

June 2, 2013
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One of my favorite birds, that I love to photograph along the NJ shore, is a Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres).

Here is the latest photograph taken in Sandy Hook Gateway National Recreaction Area, Highlands, New Jersey:

New Jersey Bird Photography - Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres - Canon 1Dx 600mm f/4 IS mark II 1.4x teleconverter - shorebird

– for larger view and EXIF data, please click on the image – Photograph taken with a Canon 1Dx camera and 600mm f/4 lens II + 1.4x extender III

“Ruddy Turnstones engage in a variety of behaviors to locate and capture prey. These behaviors can be placed into six general categories:

– Routing — The Turnstone manipulates piles of seaweed through flicking, bulldozing, and pecking to expose small crustaceans or gastropod molluscs hidden underneath.

– Turning stones — As per its name, the Turnstone flicks stones with its bill to uncover hidden littorinids and gammarid amphipods.

– Digging — With small flicks of its bill, the Turnstone creates holes in the ground substrate (usually sand or mud) and then pecks at the exposed prey – often sandhoppers or seaweed flies.

– Probing — The Turnstone inserts its bill more than a quarter-length into the ground to get at littorinids and other gastropods.

– Hammer–probing — The Turnstone cracks open its prey’s shell by using its bill as a hammer, and then extracts the animal inside through pecking and probing.

– Surface pecking — The Turnstone uses short, shallow pecks (less than a quarter bill-length) to get at prey at or just below the ground’s surface. There is evidence that Turnstones vary between these feeding behaviors based on individual preference, sex, and even social status with respect to other Turnstones.” – Wikipedia

Please also visit my Shorebird Gallery by clicking this link:

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