turnstone

/terrn"stohn'/, n.
1. any shorebird of the genus Arenaria, characterized by the habit of turning over stones in search of food.
2. Brit. See ruddy turnstone.
[1665-75; TURN + STONE]

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bird
      either of two species of shorebirds (genus Arenaria) that constitute the subfamily Arenariinae (family Scolopacidae). The birds use their short, flattened bills, which are slightly recurved (upturned at the tip), to overturn pebbles and shells in search of food. Turnstones grow to a length of about 20 cm (8 inches).

      The ruddy turnstone (A. interpres), pied black, white, and reddish, is a notable migrant: it breeds chiefly in the Arctic and migrates south to winter on seacoasts in Argentina, Chile, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. (A banded bird is known to have traveled 720 km [450 miles] in a single day.) On their wintering grounds, ruddy turnstones feed primarily on small crustaceans and other invertebrates but have been known to eat berries and terns' eggs. On the breeding ground the male may make many false nests, while the female makes a single true nest, in which she lays four eggs. The male incubates by day; the female, at night. As soon as the young are fledged, the female departs alone for the wintering ground; the male remains with the young nearly two weeks longer and then departs, to be followed by the young.

      The black turnstone (A. melanocephala), which breeds in Arctic Alaska and winters as far south as Mexico, has a black and white wing pattern but is otherwise dark.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Turnstone — Turn stone , n. (Zo[ o]l.) Any species of limicoline birds of the genera {Strepsilas} and {Arenaria}, allied to the plovers, especially the common American and European species ({Strepsilas interpres}). They are so called from their habit of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • turnstone — [tʉrn′stōn΄] n. any of a genus (Arenaria, family Scolopacidae) of small, migratory shorebirds, esp., the ruddy turnstone ( A. interpres): so called because they turn over pebbles to seek food …   English World dictionary

  • Turnstone — Taxobox name = Turnstones image width = 205px image caption = Ruddy Turnstone in nonbreeding plumage image2 width = 205px image2 caption = Black Turnstone in winter plumage regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves subclassis =… …   Wikipedia

  • Turnstone — akmenė statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Arenaria interpres angl. Turnstone vok. Steinwälzer …   Paukščių anatomijos terminai

  • turnstone — akmenės statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Arenaria angl. turnstone vok. Steinwälzer, m rus. камнешарка, f pranc. tourne pierre, m ryšiai: platesnis terminas – akmenės siauresnis terminas – juodoji akmenė siauresnis terminas …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • turnstone — noun Etymology: from a habit of turning over stones to find food Date: circa 1674 either of two shorebirds (genus Arenaria) of the sandpiper family: a. a bird (A. interpres) of worldwide distribution that has black and chestnut upperparts and a… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • turnstone — noun Either of two species of coastal wading bird, Arenaria interpres and Arenaria melanocephala. They breed in the Arctic and readily turn stones or seaweed looking for hidden invertebrates …   Wiktionary

  • turnstone — noun a small short billed sandpiper noted for turning over stones to find small animals. [Genus Arenaria: two species.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • turnstone — turn•stone [[t]ˈtɜrnˌstoʊn[/t]] n. orn any of several shorebirds of the genus Arenaria, of the sandpiper family, having a slender, upturned bill used for turning over pebbles in search of food • Etymology: 1665–75 …   From formal English to slang

  • turnstone — /ˈtɜnstoʊn / (say ternstohn) noun any of the small, migratory, shorebirds constituting the genus Arenaria, notable for their habit of turning over stones in search of food, especially A. interpres, common in both Old and New Worlds …   Australian English dictionary

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