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  storks-fam
 
 
 

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Ciconiiformes - Storks
 
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Ciconiiformes
Families: Herons and Bitterns, Hammerkop, Ibises and Spoonbills, Storks, Shoebill
 
Species:  
Lava Heron, Striated Heron, Scarlet Ibis, Black-faced Ibis
 
Images:   
Great Egret, Pied Heron, Grey Heron, Great Bittern, herons (woodcut), Hamerkop,
Sacred Ibis
, Australian White Ibis, Roseate Spoonbill, Wood Stork, White Stork,
Marabou
, Maguari Stork, Black-necked Stork, Shoebill
 
  Family Ciconiidae - Storks
Wiki    ToL     EoL
EXAMPLE
  19 species, 6 genera. Worldwide except polar regions, northern Asia, New Zealand, and most of North America. These may end up to be the only inhabitants of the Order Ciconiiformes...molecular studies indicate that the other families belong in the Pelecaniformes.
   Storks have typically been grouped with other waders but it is generally accepted that their nearest relatives are the New World Vultures. Sibley and Monroe (1990) place them in the same family (Ciconiidae). The AOU Checklist (1998) placed them as adjacent families in the Ciconiiformes but has subsequently returned them to the Falconiformes. Clements (2007) retains them in the Falconiformes. Dickinson (2003) places them between flamingos and ibises.
   Storks and jabirus are large, robust wading birds. Sexes are similar but males are slightly larger. They have broad wings and a short, rounded tail. They are graceful fliers and superb soarers.
   The face or head is bare in some stork species. Their bills are large -  long, heavy, but not hooked - it is slightly decurved at the tip in 4 species and upturned in 3 species. Two species have an inflatable neck sac below the bill. Two species have a bill that is partially open along its length. The angle of the mandible is truncated. Their pelvic muscle formula is AXY(+) or XY+. The ambiens is feeble or absent. Flexor tendons are Type 1. Nares are holorhinal and pervious. They have 17-18 cervical vertebrae. The sternum has one pair of notches. The pectoralis muscles is double and there is no biceps slip. They have 11 primaries (the outer feather is vestigial), 17-26 secondaries, 12 tail feathers, and no powder downs. Their legs are long. Their  hind toe (hallux) is elevated and the short front toes are webbed basally. The middle claw is not pectinate. The syrinx is tracheal or tracheo-bronchial and has no intrinsic muscles (no sound is produced - the birds are silent). The oil gland is large, bilobed and tufted.
   Like Ibises, they fly with their necks extended and their feet trailing. Most species are highly social - often feeding and roosting together in large groups. Mycteria storks (4 species) have a slightly decurved top to the bill and feed in shallow water, walking as they sweep the bill from side-to-side, snapping closed to catch prey when touched. Openbill storks feed on large apple snails and frogs and crabs taken along muddy edges of cultivated fields. Others walk slowly, watching before pouncing and stabbing. Several species (Marabou, etc.) forage at tips and around human settlements. Marabous and Greater Adjutans are mainly carrion feeders.
   Monogamous (changing mates after migration in some cases), colonial or solitary breeders. They build a nest of sticks in trees, on cliffs, or on a building. They may be very large and are often reused for years. They lay 3-5 eggs. Both parents incubate (up to 30 days) - their young are nidicolous. Young fledge in about 50 days (smaller storks) and after up to 100 days (larger species).
   Storks have become a symbol of childbirth - bringers of babies and harbingers of good luck!
 
 
Wood Stork
Wood Stork, Mycteria americana.
Jenkins Point
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  Banner - Wood Storks, Bear Island WMA.