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Ruddy Turnstone
(Arenaria interpres)


Picture of bird
© Tony Battiste

Two subspecies of Ruddy Turnstone breed in Canada: one breeds in the High Arctic and winters in Europe (Arenaria interpres interpres), while the other breeds in the central Arctic and winters along both coasts of the United States south to southern South America (A. i. morinella). Surveys suggest that both subspecies have decreased in abundance relative to about 1970, and both face a variety of threats during migration and in winter. However, because of regional variation in survey results, there is some uncertainty about the overall status of Canada's populations of Ruddy Turnstones. The morinella subspecies is a candidate wildlife species for assessment by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC).


Listing of the main designations for the species.
DesignationStatusDateSubspecies / Population
IUCN (Global)Least concern2009 
Canadian Shorebird Conservation Plan (North America)High concern2000 
Wildspecies (Canada)Sensitive2010 

Population status

Population status relative to circa 1970
Geographical areaStatusReliability
CanadaModerate DecreaseMedium

Population estimate


Distribution maps


Migration strategy

Long-distance migrant

Responsibility (based on Canadian % of global population)


Conservation and management

The Ruddy Turnstone is affected by loss and disturbance of coastal wintering habitats in Europe and elsewhere (e.g., Evans et al. 1991). Agricultural effluents are a risk in several key areas including coastal Brazil (Nettleship 2000). Reduced availability of prey due to baitworm harvest in the Bay of Fundy, horseshoe crab harvest in Delaware Bay, and other regional disturbances affect turnstones and other shorebirds at key migratory staging sites (e.g., Botton et al. 1994, Nettleship 2000).


Bird Conservation Plans

Information on this and other species has been compiled by ecoregion through the Bird Conservation planning process. For more details, click Bird Conservation Plans.



  • Botton, M.L., R.E. Loveland and J.T.R. Jacobsen. 1994. Site selection of migratory shorebirds in Delaware Bay, and its relationship to beach characteristics and abundance of horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) eggs. Auk 111:605-616.
  • Delaney, S., D. Scott, T. Dodman,and D. Stroud. 2009. An Atlas of Wader Populations in Africa and Western Eurasia. Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands. 524 pp.
  • Evans, P.R., N.C. Davidson, T. Piersma and N.W. Pienkowski. 1991. Implications of habitat loss at migration staging posts for shorebird populations. International Ornithological Congress 20:2228-2235.
  • Morrison, R.I.G. and R.K. Ross. 1989. Atlas of Nearctic Shorebirds on the Coast of South America. 2 vols. Special Publication, Canadian Wildlife Service, Ottawa, Ontario. 325 pp.
  • Nettleship, D.N. 2000. Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Nettleship, D.N. 2000. Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. (Link)