Guide to Boreal Birds
That two such distantly related shorebirds as the Surfbird and Black Turnstone have similar plumage is attributed to a similar need for camouflage in the same environment. The bright wing stripe is a signal, perhaps helping to keep the flying flock in formation.
10" (25 cm). A stocky, rock-dwelling shorebird, slightly larger than Black Turnstone. Breeding adults have blackish upperparts spotted with white and chestnut, whitish underparts barred with black. Winter birds dark gray above and on breast. All plumages have bold white wing stripe, white rump.
A shrill kee-wee in flight.
4 buff eggs, spotted with various colors, on bare ground among rocks.
Breeds above timberline in Arctic mountains; winters on rocky shores, headlands, and islets.
Breeds on mountain tundra of Alaska. Winters along Pacific Coast from southern Alaska southward to Baja California.