It is always amazing to see how such a colourful bird will disappear against its stony background.
In my early days I found it turning over rusty cans at the Ashbridge’s Bay dump and thought that Rusty Turncan might be a more appropriate name but now that the dump has been grassed over they have reverted to turning stones again.
They are much more abundant on sea beaches than on fresh water shores in Ontario.
We see them only as migrants between their Arctic breeding grounds and their wintering shores, south to South America.
This is a stout Robin-sized shorebird, with a ruddy back, a disruptive pattern of black and white on the foreparts, bright red legs and a harsh, chattering call.
The immatures have much more muted colours than the adults.
The short, black, upturned bill is used to flip over stones and poke among piles of algae in search of their invertebrate food.
Dr. J. Murray Speirs