The Black Turnstone: A Charismatic Shorebird
by Rich Leighton | Jan 25, 2023
The black turnstone is a highly migratory species, breeding primarily in the Arctic tundra of Canada, Alaska, and northern Europe. During the winter months, it moves south to coastal areas along the Atlantic, Pacific, and Gulf Coasts of the United States. The black turnstone feeds mostly on small crustaceans and marine worms, which it can find on rocky shorelines or mudflats. It is also known to eat small insects, mollusks, and occasionally plant material. This member of the sandpiper family is an important species for conservation, as it is one of the few species of shorebird that has seen a recent population decline. It is currently listed as a species of “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
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Black Turnstone (Arenaria melanocephala)
Common along the entire west coast of North America, this dark little member of the sandpiper family was found grooming and bathing in a tidal pool among some rocks just outside of Los Angeles.
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