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.

  Back to general list of all birds (entries start)

  Back to home page

A brief introduction to Iceland birds
Text & Photographs by Dick Vuijk
- unless stated otherwise

 Another Turnstone photographed under other light conditions.
 A Turnstone digging in beach sand for food.
 A Turnstone wading in tidal mudflat.
 A flock of Turnstones.
 Reload first photo

 Another Turnstone.
 Feeding Turnstone.
 Turnstone wading in tidal mudflat.
 A flock of Turnstones.
 Reload first photo

 Press on photo for full size

Natural History of Iceland Site   Dutch