Gruiformes order contains a wide variety of birds, both in size and other features. Most notable species of Gruiformes are cranes and quails, but there also other less known species.
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How to pronounce Gruiformes?
According to the taxonomy, there are five families in the bird order Gruiformes:
- Aramidae (Limpkins).
- Gruidae (Cranes).
- Heliornithidae (Finfoots).
- Psophiidae (Trumpeters).
- Rallidae (Coots, Rails, & more).
Based on the current classification, there are roughly about 165 species and 269 sub-species in this bird order.
Characteristics of Gruiformes
Here are some general features of Gruiformes:
- Many birds in the order have plumage in subdued colors – grey, white, or brown;
- Many Gruiformes have long, slender bills;
- Gruiformes have long wings rounded at the edges;
- Most species in the order have long and strong legs;
- Many Gruiformes species are known for special mating rituals;
- Gruiformes birds are found on all continents except in Antarctica.
- The bird Kagu in this bird order lives exclusively on the island of New Caledonia near Australia in the Pacific Ocean.
- Cranes can be found on all continents except Antarctica and South America. Interestingly, Rails, gallinules, and coots can be found worldwide.
- According to IUCN, the birds in this order are of least concern (LC).
In terms of habitats, Gruiformes live in diverse locations:
|Sungrebes, Rails||Aquatic regions (marshes, swamps, lakes, and streams)|
|Sunbitterns||Rainforests and swamps|
|Cranes||Freshwater and marine wetlands|
|Mesites||Rainforest, deciduous forest, and dry scrubland|
|Bustards||Brush, scrub habitats and open grassland.|
In general, Gruiformes birds eat a wide variety of plant and animal matter.
|Sungrebes||Small insects, aquatic animals, seeds, and leaves.|
|Sunbitterns||Insects, small fish, and crustaceans.|
|Limpkin||Apple snails, insects, and seeds.|
|Cranes||Seeds, fish, and other animal matter.|
|Trumpeters||Fruits, berries, seeds,|
|Kagu||Insects, worms, small frogs and mollusks|
|Mesites||Fruits, seeds, small insects|
|Bustards||Seeds, insects, and other small animals.|
Here is a sample of Gruiformes species variety:
- Sandbill crane;
- Australian crane;
- Demoiselle crane;
- Courlan, or limpkin;
- Corncrake, or land rail;
- Water rail;
- Inaccessible Island rail;
- American finfoot;
- Mud hen;
- European coot.