Rogue Valley Audubon Society
Rogue Valley Birds
Rogue Valley Birds is managed by the Rogue Valley Audubon Society for bird
sightings, bird related discussion, ID questions, and information about birding
in the Rogue Valley and surrounding regions including the Cascade and
Siskiyou mountains in Southern Oregon.

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              RUDDY TURNSTONE

Here's Norm Barrett's photo of the Ruddy Turnstone found Sunday
(April 27) at the Kirtland ponds by Brian Barr.  This is the eighth reported  
sighting of this species in Jackson County, and all but two occurred
between April 24 and May 13, and all but one were at the Kirtland ponds.  
It's the first one reported since October 2009.

With no stones to turn, this individual was flipping over small pieces
of mud in its search for food.  A quick look at its feet reveals that hunger
overrode any inclination to clean between the toes.

Comparison of this photo with illustrations of breeding plumage males in
various field guides seems to indicate that this bird has not fully completed
its molt into breeding plumage (but it's close).

The Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres) and the Black Turnstone
(Arenaria melanocephala) are the only members of the genus which is
found worldwide.  They belong to the familiar Scolapacidae family that
includes virtually all our local shorebird types.

Birds of Oregon reports that this species is an irregular spring and
occasional fall transient inland west of the Cascades.   It's a circumpolar
breeder and winters along the Pacific Coast from sw. British Columbia to
Tierra del Fuego.

                             Ruddy Turnstone                    
       Photo by Norm Barrett
American and Lesser Goldfinches are two of the commonest yard
birds in Jackson County, but the feeders put out by George and Sally
Peterson in southern Ashland attracted a very rare cousin of those

This male Lawrence's Goldfinch put in an appearance last week, and
its striking gray, yellow and black plumage is clearly evident in this
photo taken by George.

In response to a local Lawrence's Goldfinch sighting last May (at the
Kirtland ponds), Alan Contreras reported that there were fewer than
ten Oregon records of this species.

Ron Ketchum noted at the time that at least three of those records
were in Jackson County.  He had three in a group along Dead Indian
Road June 6, 1997, during a Breeding Bird Survey.  And in February
of 1998, one Lawrence's Goldfinch visited a feeder outside of

Lawrence's Goldfinches are relatively easy to find in certain parts of
California, but it's instructive to read the following comments in the
late Arnold Small's
Birds of California:  

"In winter, and in migration, they are much given to wandering..."  And
further, "they are erratic in nature and may appear within suitable
habitat and remain to breed (sometimes in considerable numbers) for
a season or two, and thereafter not appear again for a number of
          Black-chinned Hummingbird
This female Black-chinned Hummingbird has been an irregular visitor to feeders in
an Eagle Point yard recently.  The Black-chinned is not known to breed in Jackson
County, but is occasionally reported in this area during spring and summer.

                                                                                Photo by Norm Barrett