In breeding plumage, this Turnstone is largely black of head and breast with a distinguishing white spot between the eye and bill and white stripe over the eye. The sides of his breast are flecked with white. The belly and vent are white. From below, there are discernable white wingbars, shoulder patch and tail. Feet and legs have a somewhat orange tinge. In winter the head and breast become largely dark brown with little white.
Turnstones get their names for the method in which they forage for food, overturning stones and shells for whatever unfortunate creature is hiding underneath.
Juveniles are similar to winter adults but browner.
The Black Turnstone breeds exclusively in Alaska.
Calls or song.
The Black Turnstone has a variety of calls, from a rattling trill to a series of staccato notes while in flight.
Population and distribution.
This bird winters along the Pacific Coast to Baja, California, but has sometimes been sighted inland in states such as Wisconsin, Montana, Nevada and Arizona.
The Black Turnstone scrapes a nest on the ground among grasses and sedge. She lays 4 olive eggs with dark spots.