BIRDS of THE WORLD - An Online Bird Book


Most Shorebirds walk along shores probing for food with their thin sensitive bills. Bill length varies considerably so differing species can work the same shore and obtain different food supplies. Shorebirds include sandpipers, godwits, stilts, oystercatchers, plovers, and many more. Shorebirds belong to the Charadriiformes order which also includes the Gulls and Allies.
Note: the term Shorebirds is used in the Americas; elsewhere "waders" is used. We will reserve "waders" for herons and allies.

Some Charadriiformes families:
Burhinidae: thick-knees; Charadriidae: small plovers, lapwings; Glareolidae: courses, pratincoles; Haematopodidae: oystercatchers
Jacanidae: jacanas; Recurvirostridae: avocets, stilts; Scolopacidae: small bill sandpipers, large bill sandpipers.


Order Charadriiformes   Family Jacanidae

Jacanas have huge feet and claws which enable them to walk on floating vegetation in the shallow lakes that are their preferred habitat. They are found worldwide within the tropical zone.

Genus Actophilornis

Jacana,_African Actophilornis africanus  Found: Africa
The African Jacana has chestnut upperparts; black nape, eye-line, wingtips; white underparts with chestnut belly patch; blue bill extends up to a head shield; gray legs.
Similar to: Madagascar Jacana. Range of African Jacana and Madagascar Jacana do not overlap.
Image by:  1, 2) Dick Daniels - Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo   3) Dick - St. Lucia, South Africa  4) Chris Eason    5) dBerliner   6) Manfred Werner  7) Arno_Meintjes

Jacana,_Madagascar  Actophilornis albinucha  Found: Madagascar
Similar to: African Jacana. Range of African Jacana and Madagascar Jacana do not overlap.
Image by: 1) Pat and Keith Taylor - near Ankarafantsika National Park  2) Amy_McAndrews  3) Zieger_M

Genus Hydrophasianus - 1 species

Jacana,_Pheasant-tailed Hydrophasianus chirurgus Found: Asia
The breeding Pheasant-tailed Jacana has a mainly black body; white head, fore-neck, wing patch; light golden hind neck; gray legs; long tail. The nonbreeding adult has white underparts except for a brown breast band; there is no long tail.
Image by: 1) Lin_Sun_Fong  2) JM_Garg- India   3) Vijay_Ismavel - India  4) Werner Witte - Sri Lanka  5) Ainus  6) David_Cook - Sri Lanka
1) Juvenile  2, 3) Nonbreeding   4 -6) Breeding

Genus Irediparra - 1 species

Jacana,_Comb-crested Irediparra gallinacea Found: Australasia
The Comb-crested Jacana has gray-brown back, wings; fleshy red wattle covering forehead and crown; black rear crown; white face, throat; black breast band; white belly.
Image by: 1) SunPhlo  2) GDW.45 - Australia  3) Djambalawa  4) Geoff_Whalan

Genus Jacana

Jacana,_Northern  Jacana spinosa  Found: southwestern southwest USA to Central America
The Northern Jacana has a dark brown body; black head and neck; yellowish bill with white base.
Image by: 1) Hans Switzer  2) ) Len Blumin    3, 4) Dick Daniels - Jamaica   5) Paul_Kehrer - Costa Rica  6) Benjamin_Keen
1, 2) Juvenile

Jacana,_Wattled  Jacana jacana  Found: South America
The Wattled Jacana has a chestnut back and wing coverts; black breast, neck, head; yellow bill extends up to a red head shield. The juvenile has white underparts, neck, and supercilium.
Image by:1) Dario Sanches - Brazil  2, 3, 4, 5) Dick Daniels - Pedasi, Panama  6) Geoff Gallice - Ecuador  7) Cristiano Crolle - Esteros del Iberà, Argentina  8) Juan_Zamora
1, 2 Juvenile  3) Left to right: juvenile, adult, big bird  4) Juvenile, adult  5, 6, 7) Adult

Genus Metopidius - 1 species

  Metopidius indicus  Found: India, southeast Asia, Indonesia
The Bronze-winged Jacana  call is a wheezy piping seek-seek-seek given mostly in alarm.
Image by: 1) Shrikant Rao - Bangalore 2, 3) JM_Garg - India  4) Dave_Curtis  5) Leeds Museum  6) blank whote - Bangalore 

Genus Microparra - 1 species

Jacana, Lesser  Microparra capensis  Found: Africa
The Lesser Jacana has grayish-brown upperparts; white underparts, supercilium, face, neck; dark crown;cinnamon forehead; black eye-line
Image by: 1) Benjamin Hollis - Botswana Derek_Keats - Botswana  3, 4) Jerry Oldenettel - Botswana  

Order Charadriiformes   Family Chionididae - 1 genus

Sheathbills are found in the Antarctic and are the only Antarctic birds without webbed feet.They rarely fly; only when  alarmed or during migration.Their nearest relatives are probably the  thick-knees.

Genus Chionis

Sheathbill,_Black-faced  Chionis minor  Found: subantarctic islands
The Black-faced Sheathbill has white plumage; black bill.
Similar to: Snowy Sheathbill. Black-faced Sheathbill has black bill; Snowy Sheathbill has black only on tip of bill.
Image by: 1) Kerguelen  2) Dominique_Filippi  3) Paul Tixier  

Sheathbill, Snowy Chionis albus    Found: Antartic Region, sourthern South America
The Snowy Sheathbill is pure white except for its pink warty face.
Similar to: Black-faced Sheathbill. Black-faced Sheathbill has black bill; Snowy Sheathbill has black only on tip of bill.
Image by: 1) Wim Hoek  2) David Jensen - Antartica  3) David_Cook  4) Charlie Westerinen - Port Lockroy, Antarctica  5)  Colin Scott

Order Charadriiformes   Family Pedionomidae
The plains-wanderer is a quail-like ground bird, measuring 15–19 cm. It is such an atypical bird that it is placed in an entire family of its own, Pedionomidae.

Plains-wanderer   Pedionomus torquatus Found: Australia
The male Plains-wanderer has light brown upperparts; fawn-white underpartswith black cresents, Female has white spotted black collar and is larger than male. They are poor fliers.
Image by: 1, 2) Patrick_K59  3) Nik_Borrow

Order Charadriiformes   Family Rostratulidae

Genus Rostratula
Painted-Snipes resemble the True Snipes of family Scolopacidae, but they are not related. Yet another example of convergent evolution.

Snipe,_Australian Painted-  Rostratula australis  Found: Australia
The Australian Painted-Snipe has brown head, neck and upper breast; white lower breast, white belly, white stripe on the side of breast and over shoulder, white around and behind the eye. Males are generally slightly smaller and less bright.
Image by:1, 3, 4) Oystercatcher - Kellys Swamp at the Jerrabomberra Wetlands in Canberra  2) Tom_Tarrant
1, 2) Female  3, 4) Male

Snipe,_Greater Painted-  Rostratula benghalensis    Found: Asia, Africa
The female Greater Painted-Snipe has chesnut upperparts, neck, throat; white underparts, eye-line; long reddish-brown bill. The male is paler and grayer.
Image by: 1) Charles Lam  2) Frans_Vandewalle  3) Frankie Chu  4) Ian White - Botswana  5, 6) Andi_Li
1, 2) Female  3 - 6) Male

Snipe,_South_American_Painted-  Nycticryphes semicollaris  Found: southern South America
The South American Painted-Snipe dark gray-brown upperparts; white median-crown stripe; white belly; down curved bill.
Image by: 1, 2) Gaston_C  Cornell_Univ's_Neotropical_Birds_Online - J_Simon_Tagtachian, Raphael_Kurz
1) Female  2) Male

Order Charadriiformes   Family Thinocoridae

Seedsnipes are found in the South America in the Andes region as well as Patagonia. They inhabit a variety of harsh environments, including grasslands, grass steppes, semi-arid deserts and alpine habitats Seeds are not a main part of their diet and they don't resemble snipes! Instead they resemble long-winged grouse.Seedsnipes cloes relatives may be the plains jacanas and painted snipes.

Genus Attagis

Seedsnipe,_Rufous-bellied   Attagis gayi  Found: Ecuador to Argentina
The Rufous-bellied Seedsnipe has reddish brown upperparts; scalloped paler rufous underparts.
Image by: 1) Carlo_Castellani - Bolivia  2) Nigel_Voaden - Ecuador  3) Nick Athanas - Chile

Seedsnipe,_White-bellied   Attagis malouinus  Found: southwest Argentina, Tierra del Fuego
Image by: 1, 2) Cornell_Univ's_Neotropical_Birds_Online - Luke_Seitz, Sebastian_Saiter_Villagran

Genus Thinocorus

Seedsnipe,_Gray-breasted   Thinocorus orbignyianus  Found: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru
Similar to: Least Seedsnipe. Least Seedsnipe has black border around its gray breast; Gray-breasted Seedsnipe does not.
Image by: 1) Murray_Foubister   2) Opisska - Argentina  3) Pablo_Caceres_Contreras - Chile  4) Nick Athanas - Argentina 
1) Female  2 - 4) Male

Seedsnipe,_Least   Thinocorus rumicivorus  Found: South America
The male Least Seedsnipe has gray face, neck, breast; black line at center of throat forms an inverted T; yellowish-green legs; ashy colored bill.
Similar to
: Gray-breasted Seedsnipe. Least Seedsnipe has black border around its gray breast; Gray-breasted Seedsnipe does not.
Image by: 1) Dominic_Sherony  2, 3) Nick Athanas - Argentina

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