I love turning over stones

I’m curious about the world. I love looking under stones and finding the stories underneath today’s important issues.

I believe that the science behind important issues should be accessible to everyone

Covid-19, climate change, conservation - there’s more to these issues than headlines and soundbites. I sift through the evidence and tell the story in plain language so that you can understand what you need to know.

Once a week, I share a piece of my world

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What exactly is a turnstone?

A turnstone is a small shorebird, which feeds by - you guessed it - turning over stones to look for sandhoppers and other small creatures. Sometimes, several birds work together to turn over objects that would be too heavy for one bird alone. From spring to autumn, turnstones can be seen in coastal areas around New Zealand, before departing for their breeding grounds in the Arctic. While it’s not the most well-known of our migratory birds, it’s an icon of curiosity and determination as it pokes around on the seashore in its search for food.

Ruddy turnstone: photo by Imogen Warren

The photo comes from Imogen Warren, who has taken some amazing photographs of turnstones and other birds. Follow the link here to see more pictures of turnstones (scroll down the page and look for “ruddy turnstone”). You’ll see an image of a turnstone turning over a stone, as well as a stunning sequence of a turnstone battling with a crab.

Learn more about turnstones here.

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I believe that the science behind important issues should be accessible to everyone


Melanie Newfield
I'm a Wellington-based writer and researcher with a passion for science and nature. I love turning over stones and finding interesting stories to share with you.