Black Turnstone: Medium sandpiper, scaled black upperparts, white spot between eye and bill, black breast with white speckles on sides, and white belly. Short, dark bill slightly upturned. Back, wings, and rump display a dramatic black-and-white pattern in flight. Swift flight on rapid wing beats.
Range and Habitat
Black Turnstone: Breeds on western and southern coasts of Alaska. Spends winters along the west coast from Alaska south to Baja California and Sonora, Mexico. Breeding habit includes marshy coastal tundra; found on seaweed-covered rocky shores in fall and winter.
The Black Turnstone often show strong site and mate fidelity when breeding; nesting at the same exact site with the same mate year after year.
The female often leaves after two weeks, leaving the remaining parental care to the male.
A group of sandpipers has many collective nouns, including a "bind", "contradiction", "fling", "hill", and "time-step" of sandpipers.
The Black Turnstone is a small wading bird native to the western coast of North America. Perhaps the most interesting fact about the Black Turnstone is that it only breeds in Alaska. It typically lives and nests near the coastline or slightly inland. There have been populations reported in Siberia, but no evidence of breeding has been found in that area. It mostly feeds on crustaceans and flying insects, and spends the winter months as far south as Mexico. Estimated populations total 95,000 worldwide, and 80,000 of these are located at the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta of Alaska. Its current endangerment status is classified as Least Concern.