Data for:
Mendocino, California, United States
List:

Charadriiformes > Scolopacidae

Black Turnstone

Arenaria melanocephala

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Identification

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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.

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Black Turnstone

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