Anserine (Anseriformes) - Ducks, geese and swans

  • Broadened bills containing many tactile nerve endings and with filtering ridges or "teeth" at margins;

  • short legs with webbed feet;

  • body well supplied with down and oily feathers;

  • precocial young.

Charadiinaceous (Charadiiformes) - Gulls, terns and other shorebirds

  • Toes usually webbed;

  • compact plumage;

  • strong fliers;

  • often colonial precocial young in most cases.

Columbine (Columbiformes) - Pigeons and doves

  • Short slender bill with cere (soft skin) at base;

  • short legs;

  • crop produces "crop milk or pigeon's milk" to feed young.

  Falconine (Falconiformes) - Eagles, hawks, kites, osprey, vultures and falcons.

  • Diurnal birds of prey;

  • strong bill, hooked at tip and sharp on edges;

  • feed with sharp curved talons;

  • keen vision;

  • strong fliers as a rule.

Gallinaceous (Galliformes) - Grouse, quail, partridge, pheasants, jungle fowl, pea fowl and turkeys

  • Vegetarian, hen-like birds with short, stout beak;

  • short rounded wings and well developed tails;

  • heavy feet adapted to scratching ground and running;

  • often gregarious;

  • commonly show distinct sexual dimorphism;

  • next on ground;

  • precocial young;

  • important game and domestic birds.

Passerine (Passeriformes) - Perching Birds

  • Toes, 3 front and 1 rear;

  • adapted to perching

  • This order contains over half of all known birds.

Psittacine (Psittaciformes) - Lories, parrots, macaws, etc.

  • Narrow, hooked beak;

  • upper mandible hinged movably to skull;

  • fleshy tongue;

  • large rounded heads;

  • toes, 2 front and 2 rear, with grasping claws;

  • brilliant plumage.

Strigine (Strigiformes) - Owls

  • Nocturnal predators;

  • large rounded head with large, forward directed eyes set in feathered disks;

  • large external ear openings with flaps;

  • short, powerful hooked beak;

  • strong, sharp talons;

  • soft, fluffy plumage allows silent flight.


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