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Ruddy turnstone        Images © Mark A. Chappell

Ruddy turnstones are fairly drab medium-sized shorebirds when seen in the continental US, but during their brief breeding period in the high Arctic they molt into a very colorful rusty + white + black plumage.   I photographed the breeding-plumage birds on the tundra near Barrow, Alaska.   The turnstones at upper right and lower right are molting from winter into summer plumage; they were photographed in coastal California.  The closely-related black turnstone, as its name implies, has an overall blackish plumage in both summer and winter.

  • Canon 10D, 1D Mk II, 1D4, or R5; 500 mm IS lens plus 2X converter or 800 mm IS lens plus 1.4X converter, fill-in flash (2004, 2006, 2011-2014, 2022)