WatchList Species Account for Black Turnstone |
the list as a Declining Yellow List Species
Photo: Tom Grey
The Black Turnstone, a medium-sized shorebird
with a striking black-and-white pattern most visible in flight,
breeds only in Alaska, mostly within a coastal band
from Point Hope south to the south-central Alaska Peninsula,
generally within 1.5 miles of the coast.
Some 85% of the population occurs in the
central Yukon-Kuskokwim delta. In winter it is found along
the coast from southern Alaska to Baja California and both
sides of the Gulf of California. It feeds on invertebrates
in the rocky intertidal zone.
The estimated total population in 1992
was 95,000 birds. Christmas Bird Count data suggests its populations
in the Northwest may have decreased. A catastrophic oil spill
at its major breeding grounds could put a large proportion
of its population at risk. Much of its wintering range is
near major oil production and shipping locations where a spill
could affect large numbers of the bird.