Breeding adult © Nick Athanas eBird S66196604 Macaulay Library ML 217944831
Nonbreeding adult/immature © Andrew Johnson
Nonbreeding adult/immature © Steven Mlodinow
Nonbreeding adult/immature © Chris Wood
Nonbreeding adult/immature (with Surfbird) © Ian Davies
+ 2
Nonbreeding adult/immature (with Ruddy Turnstone and Surfbird) © Jonathan Vargas

Black Turnstone Arenaria melanocephala

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Fairly small, stocky shorebird with short, chisel-like bill. Dark charcoal-colored overall with white belly. In breeding plumage, look for diffuse white eyebrow and small white patch on face. Bold black-and-white pattern is striking in flight. Restricted to the Pacific coast of North America, breeding on grassy tundra in Alaska and wintering regularly to southern Baja California. Found on oceanside rocks and jetties; essentially never seen inland. Typically in small flocks, often mixed with other rock-loving shorebirds like Surfbird. Compared with Ruddy Turnstone, Black Turnstone is, fittingly, much darker: it lacks the rufous tones and bold neck pattern of Ruddy. Also note Black Turnstone's duller legs.