American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Either of two wading birds, Arenaria interpres, a widely distributed species that is dark brown above with large areas of chestnut and black, or A. melanocephala, having black and white plumage, that breeds along the coast of Alaska and winters from there to Baja California.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A small grallatorial bird of the genus Strepsilas, allied both to plovers and to sandpipers: so called from its habit of turning over little stones or pebbles on the sea-shore in search of food. The common turnstone or sea-dotterel is S. interpres. In full summer plumage this is one of the handsomest of its tribe, being pied with black, brown, white, and chestnut-red, and having orange feet; it is 8 to 9 inches long, and about 17 In extent of wings. It is nearly cosmopolitan in its extensive migrations, and breeds in high-latitudes. It is common in North America, especially coastwise, and there has many ocal nams, as brant-bird, beach-bird, whale-bird, heart-bird, chicken-bird, calico-bird, calico-back, calico-jacket, checkered snipe, sparked-back, streaked-back, red-legs, red-legged plover, bishop-plover, maggot-snipe, horse-foot snipe, chuckatuck, creddock, jinny, etc., derived from its appearance or habits. Among its English names are Hebridal sandpiper and variegated plover, stone-pecker, tangle-picker, etc. The black-headed turnstone, S. melanocephalus, is a different variety or species, mostly of a blackish color, found on the coasts of the North Pacific. See
- n. Either of two species of coastal wading bird, Arenaria interpres and Arenaria melanocephala. They breed in the Arctic and readily turn stones or seaweed looking for hidden invertebrates.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Zoöl.) Any species of limicoline birds of the genera Strepsilas and Arenaria, allied to the plovers, especially the common American and European species (Strepsilas interpres). They are so called from their habit of turning up small stones in search of mollusks and other aquatic animals. Called also
brant bird, sand runner, sea quail, sea lark, sparkback, and skirlcrake.
- n. migratory shorebirds of the plover family that turn over stones in searching for food
- turn + stone (Wiktionary)
- From its method of finding food. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Species such as red knot ( '' Calidris canutus '') and ruddy turnstone ( '' Arenaria interpres '') are inferred to have had much larger populations and more extensive breeding areas during glacial stages, although others, such as dunlin ( '' C. alpina ''), exhibit evidence of range fragmentation during glacial stages leading to the evolution of distinct geographically restricted infraspecific taxa.”
“However, there is no doubt that mangroves of this ecoregion are crucial to several long-distance bird migrants including ruddy turnstone (Arenaria interpres), spotted sandpiper (Actitis macularia), and whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) that utilize them as feeding and resting places from August through April during their extraordinary intercontinental journey.”
“Several migratory wader species are regular visitors to the island, principally are double-banded dotterel Charadrius bicinctus, eastern golden plover Pluvialis dominica, turnstone Arenaria interpres, whimbrel Numenius phaeopus and bar-tailed godwit Limosa lapponica.”
“With the caveat that I'd have absolutely no chance of knowing much about the American avifauna, my guess would be a turnstone Arenaria sp.”
“Dunlin and turnstone augur us where, how and when best as to burial of carcass, fuselage of dump and committal of noisance.”
“And besides the land birds, Gould felt he had looked at some other new species, including a gull, a heron, and a turnstone.”
“The commonest messenger birds named in Hawaiian stories are the plover, wandering tattler, and turnstone, all migratory from about April to August, and hence naturally fastened upon by the imagination as suitable messengers to lands beyond common ken.”
“The turnstone, when surrounded by comrades belonging to more energetic species, is a rather timorous bird; but it undertakes to keep watch for the security of the commonwealth when surrounded by smaller birds.”
“Even now I think with pity of one particular turnstone.”
“The plover of the plain is the turnstone, strepsilus interpres.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘turnstone’.
birds with singular names from
at least 9 English dictionaries
Namely, compounds consisting of a verb with a direct object immediately after it, without inflection
Birds endemic to the United States and/or North America.
Bizarre stuff found there. Note that archaic terms are occasionally not spelled the way we spell them today; in these cases I've tried to link to the modernized spelling (where known) on the word p...
Looking for tweets for turnstone.