Order Charadriiformes is a very large bird order – there are around 350 bird species in it. The features of birds that belong to this order are also very varied, but there are some common characteristics.
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Order Charadriiformes characteristics
Here are the common characteristics of birds in order Charadriiformes:
- Charadriiformes birds’ range in size from 0.006 to 4.4 pounds.
- As the name suggests, these birds live near the water: in wetlands, freshwater and seawater shorelines. Some of the species spend considerable time near the ocean.
- The feeding habits of Charadriiformes vary, but most of them feed on fish; there are also species that feed on insects and crustaceans.
- Some of the Charadriiformes are herbivorous and feed on algae.
- The birds employ various feeding strategies: diving, swimming or relying on the sense of smell to find prey in shallow water and sand.
- Some Charadriiformes stay in the same area all year round, while others are capable of long-distance migration.
- Most birds of this order form groups or large flocks. Many of them are colonial nesters as well.
- Most Charadriiformes are monogamous, but some species have different breeding strategies, such as polyandria (i.e., one female – multiple males).
- In monogamous shorebirds species, both parents care for the nest and chicks.
- Shorebirds usually do not build complex nests, relying on holes or in the ground or rocks.
- The shorebirds were often victims of mass hunting by people. At present, 34 species of shorebirds are considered either threatened or in danger of extinction.
Here is the sample of the variety in Charadriiformes order:
- The great auk, †Pinguinus impennis (extinct)
- Razorbill, Alca torda
- Horned puffin, Fratercula corniculata
- Crested auklet, Aethia cristatella
- The piping plover, Charadrius melodus
- American oystercatcher, Haematopus palliates
- Snowy Sheathbill, Chionis albus
- Ibisbill – Ibidorhyncha struthersii
- African jacana, Actophilornis africanus
- Grey Gull, Larus modestus
-  – “Gulls, Terns, Plovers, and Other Shorebirds: Charadriiformes | Encyclopedia.com”. Accessed June 03, 2019. Link.