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length: 21-24 centimeters
wingspan: 44-49 centimeters


120 grams


multicolored with obvious black breast band


record is 20 years


insects, crabs and shellfish


maturity: age 2
number of eggs per nest: 4

  • Dut: Steenloper
  • Eng: Turnstone (European turnstone)
  • Fren: Tournepierre à collier
  • Ger: Steinwälzer
  • Dan: Stenvender
  • Nor: Steinvender
  • Frisian: Stienpikker
  • Ital: Voltapietre
  • Lat: Arenaria interpres
Turnstone (European turnstone), Jeroen Reneerkens (


For a wader, turnstones have short legs. They don't look for their food in the mud or water, but between stones. They thank their name to the fact that they turn over stones while looking for food. They are truly worldy citizens; you find them almost everywhere. They nest from the end of May on rocky islands along the coast and on tundra in the Arctic region. They migrate south at the beginning of June. In the Netherlands, you can see them almost the entire year along the coast, but in particular during migration season and in the winter. 'Our' winter turnstones nest mostly in Greenland or Canada.

  • Diet
    Turnstone, foto fitis, adriaan dijksen

    When looking for food, turnstones turn over stones, shells and washed up items. Their menu consists of plants as well as animals. Turnstones mostly like to eat invertebrates and sand hoppers. In the winter, they have been caught eating carrion or even bread and fries.