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Charadriiformes - Shorebirds
 
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Shorebirds, Charadriiformes
Pterocli - Sandgrouse
Charadrii - Shorebirds
Families: Seedsnipe, Plains-wanderer, Thick-knees, Plovers and Lapwings, Oystercatchers,
    IbisbillStilts and Avocets, Painted Snipe, Jacanas, Magellanic Plover, Sheathbills,
    Sandpipers, Phalaropes
Lari - Gulls, Terns, Skimmers
Families: Crab Plovers, Pratiincoles and Coursers, Jaegers and Skuas, Gulls, Terns, Skimmers
Alcae - Auks
Families: Auks
 
Species:   
Pacific Golden-Plover, Southern Lapwing, Blackish Oystercatcher,
American Black Oystercatcher
, Silver Gull, Western Gull, Heermann's Gull, Lava Gull, Swallow-tailed Gull, Kelp Gull, Dolphin Gull, South American Tern
 
Images:   
Sanderling, Willet, Piping and Semipalmated Plovers,
Masked, Southern, Red-wattled, and Northern Lapwings
, White-tailed Plover,
Eurasian, Blackish, and American Black Oystercatchers, Pied Stilt,
Northern and Wattled Jacanas, Snowy SheathbillWillet, Sanderling, Western Sandpiper,
Red Phalarope, Alaskan shorebirds, Laughing Gull, Forster's Tern, Black Skimmer,
South Polar Skua
, Bonaparte's Gull, Fairy Tern, Black Skimmer,
Common Murre, Pigeon Guillemot, Klittliz's Murrelet, Black Guillemot, and Tufted Puffin
 
  Shorebirds
 

   Based on the studies of  Sibley and Ahlquist (1990), Sibley and Monroe (1990) and the Encyclopedia of Life include the Charadriiformes within the Order  Ciconiiformes. However, it appears that the Charadriiformes constitute a single lineage of modern birds and should be treated as an order. Classically they were divided into shorebirds, gulls, and auks but it is now evident that auks are more related to gulls. Buttonquail also belong in this order.
   Based on the Charadriiformes description in Wikipedia, an appropriate taxonomic order for this group is as follows:

Order Charadriiformes
   Suborder Scolopaci - snipe-like waders
      Family Scolopacidae, snipe, sandpipers, phalaropes, and allies
   Suborder Thinocori - aberrant charadriiforms
      Family Rostratulidae - painted snipe
      Family Jacanidae - jacanas
      Family Thinocoridae - seedsnipe
      Family Pediomidae - Plains Wanderer
   Suborder Lari - gulls and allies
      Family Laridae - gulls
      Family Rhynchopidae - skimmers
      Family Sternidae - terns
      Family Alcidae - puffins, guillemots, murres, and allies
      Family Stercorariidae - skuas
      Family Glareolidae - pratincoles and coursers
      Farmily Dromadidae - Crab Plover
   Suborder Turnici - buttonquails
      Family Turnicidae - buttonquail
   Suborder Chionidi - thick-knees and allies
      Family Burhinidae - thick-knees
      Family Chionididae - sheathbills
      Family Pluvianellidae - Magellanic Plover
   Suborder Charadrii - plover-like waders
      Family Ibidorhynchidae - Ibisbill
      Family Recurvirostridae - avocets and stilts
      Family Haematopodidae - oystercatchers
      Family Charadriidae - plovers and lapwings

   Sandgrouse (Pteroclidae) appear to belong in a separate order (placed near the doves).

Like other complex taxa of non-passerines, other authors differ in their classification schemes. The three major recent published arrangements are as follows:

       
    Clements (2007) separates the "Limicolae" into two orders:

Order Charadriiformes - Shorebirds
   Family Jacanidae - Jacanas (8)
   Family Rostratulidae - Painted-Snipes (3)
   Family Dromadidae - Crab-Plovers (1)
   Family Haematopodidae - Oystercatchers (11)
   Family Ididorhynchidae - Ibisbill (1)
   Family Recurvirostridae - Avocets, Stilts (10)
   Family Burhinidae - Thick-knees (9)
   Family Glareolidae - Pratincoles, Coursers (17)
   Family Charadriidae - Plovers, Lapwings (66)
   Family Pluvianellidae - Magellanic Plover (1)
   Family Scolopacidae - Sandpipers (89)
   Family Pedionomidae - Plains-Wanderers (1)
   Family Thinocoridae - Seedsnipes (4)
   Family Chionididae - Sheathbills (2)
   Family Laridae - Gulls (56)
   Family Sternidae - Terns (44)
   Family Rynchopidae - Skimmers (3)
   Family Stercorariidae - Jaegers, Skuas (7)
   Family Alcidae - Auks, Murres, Puffins (23)
Order Pterocliformes - Sandgrouse
   Family Pteroclidae - Sandgrouse (16)
   DIckenson (2003) and Harris (2009) both arrange the "shorebirds" as follows (they do not delimit orders):

Shorebirds, Gulls, Terns, Auks
   Burnhinidae - Thick-knees (9)
   Chionidae - Sheathbills (3)
   Hematopodidae - Oystercatchers (11, 1
      extinct)
   Dromadidae - Crab Plover (1)
   Ibidorhynchidae - Ibisbill (1)
   Recurvirostridae - Stilts, Avodets (7)
   Charadriidae - Plovers (66, 1 extinct)
   Rostratulidae - Painted-Snipe (2)
   Jacanidae - jacanas (8)
   Pedionomidae - Plains Wanderer (1)    
   Thinocoridae - Seedsnipe (4)
   Scolopacidae - Sandpipers, Snipe (92, 4
      extinct)
   Glareolidae - Coursers, Pratincoles (18)
   Laridae - Gulls, Terns, Skimmers (97)
   Stercorariidae - Skuas (7)
   Alcidae - Auks (24)
Sandgrouse
   Pteroclididae - Sandgrouse (16)
   Sibley and Ahlquist (1990) place limicoline birds in a Suborder of the Ciconiiformes and divide the taxa as follows:

Pteroclides
   Family Pteroclidae - Sandgrouose
Charadriides
  Scolopacoida
    Scolopacoidea
       Family Thinocoridae - Seedsnipe
       Family Pediomidae - Plains-wanderer
       Family Scolopacidae
          Subfamily Scolopacinae - Woodcock,
             Snipe
          Subfamily Tringinae - Sandpipers, etc.
    Jacanoidea
       Family Rostratulidae - Painted-snipe
       Family Jacanidae - Jacanas
  Charadriida
    Chionidoidea
       Family Chionididae - Sheathbills
    Charadroioidea
       Family Burhinidae - Thick-knees, Stone-
          Curlews
       Family Charadriidae
          Subfamily Recurvirostrinae
             Tribe Haematopodini - Oystercatchers
             Tribe Recurvirostrini - Avocets, Stilts
          Subfamily Charadriinae - Plovers,
              Lapwings
   Laroidea
       Family Glareolidae
          Subfamily Dromadinae - Crab Plover
          Subfamily Glareolinae - Coursers,
             Pratincoles
       Family Laridae
          Subfamily Larinae (Larids)
             Tribe Stercorariini - Skuas, Jaegers
             Tribe Rynchopini - Sklmmers
             Tribe Larini - Gulls
             Tribe Sternini - Terms
          Subfamily Alcinae - Auks, Murres, Puffins

   The AOU Checklist includes the Burhinidae, Charadriidae, Haematopodidae, Recurvirostridae, Jacanidae, Scolopacidae, Glaerolidae, Laridae (with subfamilies for Skuas/Jaegers, gulls, terns, and skimmers), and Alcidae. They list the Pteroclididae (Sandgrouse) in a Family incertae sedis (who knows?)

   
     The following discussion follows the order of Sibley and Monroe (1990) but clusters the sandgrouse, shorebirds, gulls and terns, and auks as separate "groups." Buttonquail (Order Turniciformes) remain with the Gruiformes for now.
 
  Order Charadriiformes - (Sandgrouse), Plovers,
      Oystercatchers, Sandpipers, Gulls, Terns
Wiki     ToL     EoL
  There are 366 species placed in 85 genera (including sandgrouse, excluding buttonquail)  Worldwide.
   Charadriiformes are the true "shorebirds" (or "waders" in the Old World). Most live near water and eat small animals but some are pelagic, some live on deserts, and others live in thick forests.
   The order includes a diverse group of shore and aquatic or wading  birds with variable characteristics. They are found worldwide but the majority breed in the Northern Hemisphere, mainly in the Arctic and sub-Arctic. They nest in open habitats on moorlands or tundra and spend the rest of the year in coastal areas, including sandy beaches, tidal mudflats, and salt marshes.  
   Charadriids (including the sandgrouse) are limicoline (seashores and estuaries), pratincoline (waders that typically prey on insects caught in flight), aquatic, or terrestrial birds with schizognathous palates (aegithognathous in seedsnipe). They have two carotid arteries, intestinal caeca, and an oil gland which is usually bilobed and tufted. They are diastataxic and have 10 primaries and 11 secondaries, Rectrices are variable - 10 in jacanas to 18 in some sandgrouse. An aftershaft is present. The number of cervical vertebrae is variable. A supraorbital groove (containing a "salt gland") is present in marine representatives. Downy young generally leave the nest quickly (nidifugous) but may depend on their parents for care for a longer period.
     
 



Sanderling
Willet
   
Sanderling, Calidris alba.
North Beach
                                            SI Web
Willet, Catopthrophorous semipalmatus.
North Beach
                                                       SI Web
     
  Banner - Semipalmated Plovers and Sanderlings - North Beach