Turnstone, a wading bird of the oystercatcher family Qiazmatopodidoe) and genus strepsilas (Illig.), so named from its turning over by its strong bill the stones and weeds along the margins of the sea and of lakes and rivers in search of insects, mollusks, and crustaceans.
Turnstone (Strepsilas interpres).
The only well characterized species, S. interpres (Illig.), is about 9 in. long and 18 in. in alar extent; above it is irregularly variegated with black, dark rufous, and white; head and neck white above, with numerous spots and stripes of brownish black; in front of eyes and on throat white, usually bordered with black; lower parts, back, rump, and under wing coverts, white; quills brownish black, with white shafts; tail white at base and tip, with terminal half brownish black; conspicuous white bar on wings, bill black, and legs orange. The bill is shorter than the head, compressed, obtusely pointed, and slightly bent upward at tip; legs moderate and stout, with tarsi scaled in front; toes short and not webbed, the hind one touching the ground; wings long, the first quill longest; tail moderate and rounded. It is generally seen in small flocks of five or six, sometimes in company with various sandpipers; it is not at all shy, and emits a loud whistling note during flight; in its spring and summer dress it is very handsome; the eggs are four, 1½ by 1¼ in., pale yellowish green with a few black lines and irregular patches of brownish red.
It is found all over the world.