Definition of turnstone in US English:



  • A small short-billed wading bird of the sandpiper family that turns over stones to feed on small animals beneath them.

    Genus Arenaria, family Scolopacidae: two species, in particular the (ruddy) turnstone (A. interpres), breeding in northern Eurasia and northern Canada

    • ‘Active foragers, turnstones are best known for their habit of turning over objects and eating the food underneath.’
    • ‘No turnstone nests were found in 1999, apparently because of very high predation pressure from Arctic foxes.’
    • ‘Knots and turnstones are both medium-sized waders that inhabit intertidal coastal areas outside the breeding season.’
    • ‘Knots and turnstones arrive at Alert in late May through early June, when the weather is cold and unpredictable and food resources scarce.’