Turnstone - Hebridean Birds
Western Isles Birds - Turnstone - Hebridean Birds - Turnstones - A small colourful wading shore bird - smaller than a redshank, turnstones have a characteristic tortoiseshell mottled appearance with brown or chestnut and black upper parts.

These birds can be seen in the Western Isles around the rocky coasts and sandy beaches. When running you can see these birds on the Western Isles sands moving their heads and necks rhythmically back and forth when searching for food.
        Turnstones - Photo Gallery
Turnstone -  Western Isles
Photo Gallery  - Turnstone
Bird Overview - Turnstone
Family
Sandpiper & Allies
Latin name
Arenaria interpres

 Population
Common Winter Visitor


Similar Species
Ringed Plovers
Description
A small colourful shore bird - smaller than a redshank, turnstones have a characteristic tortoiseshell mottled appearance with brown or chestnut and black upperparts.

These birds have a brown and white or black and white head pattern. These birds are dumpy - their underparts are white and the legs are orange yellow.

They have a short pointed bill - sometimes slightly upturned. In non breeding plumage upperparts are dark brown, the throat white and they have a dark breast patch.

The female is a little less colourful than the male bird.

Size
120g - 23cm length - 54cm wingspan
Habitat
These birds can be seen in the Western Isles around the rocky coasts and sandy beaches.
Food
Summer, mostly insects, wider range of invertebrates and other material at other times
Voice
Clear rattled and soft 'kyug'
Breeding
The turnstone breeds between May and July usually in the Tundra zone of the Arctic - there are 4 eggs and incubation is 22 - 23 days and the young fledge at 19 - 21 days. these lovely birds nest on the ground. The nest is a shallow depression in mud, peat or on dry ground. Sustenance is usually from insects.

Misc. Info
The Turnstone perhaps named as with their strong bills and necks, they flip stones of almost their own body weigh. In fact it has been recorded feeding on a very wide range of prey, including bird's eggs, chips and even corpses. In addition periwinkles are eaten and limpets are prised off rocks.

Birds pass through western Europe 'en route' to their wintering areas along tropical and sub-tropical coasts in Africa. The birds which stay in Britain in winter are mostly from Canada and Greenland. Some birds can be found in wintering areas during the summer months. These are usually sub-adults which do not breed until they are 3-6 years old.

When running you can see these birds on the Western Isles sands moving their heads and necks rhythmically back and forth when searching for food.
Buzzard - Western Isles
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