Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres
Occurs sparsely near the shore along large parts of the island group. Breeds often in the neighbourhood of Arctic Tern colonies on beaches and lagoon embankments or on old beach terraces in the lower part of the valleys on west Spitsbergen. Most often seen singly or in pairs. Small flocks can occur during the migration period. The population is in excess of 300 pairs.
Features: 21-24 cm. A robust and characteristic wader with red legs and characteristic markings on the head and back. The male and female are almost alike. The young resemble the adults, but lack the richly contrasting markings on and around the head. The loud display-flight calls over the nest site can be heard far away. Warning call «kjevi-kjevi-vittvittvittvitt».
Breeding: Breeds mainly on barren flat ground, as a rule on stretches of gravel (beach terraces) near the sea. Warns vigorously when threatened near the nest site, and is extremely aggressive towards intruders such as Arctic Skua.