BIRDS OF ICELAND : Arenaria interpres, turnstone

Arenaria interpres; the Turnstone does not breed on Iceland but can be seen quite often. They breed more north (Greenland) and migrate to English and mainland European coastal regions. During the migration they stay for quite some time on Iceland. I have seen quite a few numbers in June too along the north coast of Iceland. Apparently some stay during summer but do not breed. I suspect these are non-mated individuals or are birds that return quick from the north because they were unable to nest/lost their eggs. It is a common phenomena that some tundra birds return in summer south because of failed breeding attempts. Unlike birds in the temperate and even boreal zone they do not have the time for a second clutch. Turnstones search for invertebrate food between and under stones and pebbles; hence their name. The contrast-rich colors of black and white make them easy to recognize.

A brief introduction to Iceland birds
Text & Photographs by Dick Vuijk
- unless stated otherwise
Other Wader and Stilt species

Other Wader and Stilt species

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Natural History of Iceland Site  in Dutch

Natural History of Iceland Site  Dutch