Charadriiformes are the most extensive group of birds living in the aquatic or near-water environment. These include the Charadriiformes family, as well as the Crayfish plovers. Individuals belonging to the detachment first appeared about 36 million years ago. Ornithologists are still studying the characteristics of these birds, lifestyle, and habitat.
Description and Features
The order of Charadriiformes affects a variety of individuals. It is difficult to note the main external features of birds. But there are several features inherent in all members of the squad. The birds are attached to the aquatic habitat. It connects all birds. Their diversity from warm to cold habitats is increasing. Therefore, we can safely say that these are northern birds.
Plovers love to dwell in shallow places. All birds of the family are characterized by an average body size, a shortened beak, which has a thickening at the end. Some charadriiformes belong to another family, they have more impressive sizes.
The entire genus of Charadriiformes is characterized by the presence of light or golden spots on a blackish body. Long spreading wings, distinguished by a pointed peak, help to make long flights. In the suit with the whole body, the beak and even the iris of the eyes have a dark shade.
Representatives of the entire Charadriiformes order are small. In addition to the size and near-water often cool habitats, they have little in common. There are noticeable differences in the characteristics of behavior, reproduction, and habitat.
Therefore, scientists have united flying in many groups, among which there are plovers. However, distinctive features are found among different species of this genus. An ancient cousin of a plover had the features of ducks and ibis.
White Plover is a family of two species. Birds have white feathers. The body length is only 40 centimeters. At the same time, males reach a larger size than females. The wings are small, their wingspan reaches a maximum of 84 centimeters. The bird moves quickly; nodding is inherent in the pigeon.
The mass of the Golden Plover does not exceed 220 g. The size of the body is 29 centimeters. The wingspan is less than that of the last representative of Charadriiformes - only up to 76 centimeters. The overall look is awkward. The head has a gray-brown tint, a circular shape. The feather change period changes males. A light streak is visible on the black breast and neck.
Brown-winged plover It has a darker color and smaller volumes than Golden. The underside of the wing is gray in color, while other birds have black and white overflows in this place.
Thules - a larger representative of Charadriiformes by weight - reaches 320 g. But the wingspan and plover size inferior.
The male during the mating season boasts a black overflow on the neck, sides of the head, forehead, and back. And under the tail - white. Females on the back side have brown tints. White spots are visible below. One of the features of Tules is the presence of a fourth finger, which other Charadriiformes do not have.
Crayfish plovers have a body length of up to 40 centimeters. Females and males basically have no differences. An exception is the beak, which is slightly larger in males. The legs and neck stand out, the beak is weighty, which is why the volumes of the head also differ.
It is so strong that the hunter has the ability to break the covers of crayfish. The plumage from below is light. But the back and wings on top are dark shades. In mature individuals, the color is darker than in young animals. And the pattern on the head is missing. Birds rarely run fast, but their legs are long and have a gray-blue hue.
Charadriiformes are a genus of Charadriiformes, Charadriiformes. Ornithologists included only four species in its composition:
- Golden plover;
- Borax winged plover.
- American brown-winged plover.
White is isolated in the family of White plover, which, in turn, includes two species. Special attention should be paid to the Crayfish plover. It belongs to the same species, genus, family.
The lifestyle of almost all members of the squad can be defined as colonial. Birds live in large groups. Make long flights. However, there are loners, there are fewer of them. Nesting, hatching, as well as migration, occur in colonies.
The family of Charadriiformes ornithologists observe on the coasts of the Wadden Sea, as well as Semangeum. Its area allows about 30 species of charadriiformes to settle. The coastline is an area of nesting and winter habitat.
Golden plover has a protective status with minimal risk. This applies to other plovers. The birds are well adapted to their habitat; latitudes with a harsh climate do not provoke a decrease in the number of species.
The individual experiences a nesting period exclusively in wet areas. These are wastelands, meadows, and even swamps. Despite their conservation status, ornithologists say that birds cannot be found in Central Europe.
The brown-winged plover prefers dry areas for breeding and habitat as a whole. In the tundra, representatives can be found on the hills. This is one of the few Charadriiformes that prefer to avoid coastal territories, presumably competing with Golden Plovers.
The behavioral habits of Thules are most different from the rest of the individuals of one vast detachment and even the charadriiformes family. The bird moves quickly, at this moment it makes very sharp stops to catch easily accessible prey. In his diet there are also aquatic inhabitants, which cannot be said about the brown-winged plover.
Crayfish plovers live in large groups, the number of inhabitants in which can reach 1000. Under such conditions, nesting also occurs. Plovers exhibit an active lifestyle at night and dawn.
The area of residence of Charadriiformes is extensive. They are located mainly in the northern regions. Some individuals fly between the islands of the Arctic Ocean and Antarctica. Biodiversity is gradually increasing from the tropics to the northern regions. It was osmoregulation that caused such an increase in the number of these birds.
Feathered from the Charadriiformes family can be observed on the coastlines of Denmark, Germany, the North Sea, the Netherlands, and the Korean Peninsula. The genus Plover lives in the tundra and forest-tundra of Eurasia, North America. Wintering occurs in South America, Australia, New Zealand, as well as on the warm tropical Pacific islands.
White plover distributed in Antarctica and more adapted to harsh climatic conditions. Nesting flying on the island of South Georgia, the Antarctic Peninsula, Shetland Islands, as well as Orkney.
The habitat of the Golden Plover extends from Iceland and Great Britain to central Siberia. In the northern latitudes, these are the borders of the Arctic tundra. Unlike Central Europe, a surprising number of birds can be found in northern places. In the west and south of Europe, mainly habitats are meadows and fields.
The brown-winged plover prefers tussock and moss-lichen tundra. Birds spread in the elevated areas of Taimyr. The list of habitat zones also includes slopes of ridges, hillock sections of tundra, and shrub tundra. On the border of the shrubbery area, the brown-winged plovers meet with the golden ones.
The incubation and main habitat of Tules takes place in the arctic tundra of Eurasia. These are lands from Kanin to Chukotka. Central Europe can observe only the flights of these birds. Waiting for winter takes place in Africa, South Asia, Australia, America.
The crayfish plover lives on the lands of the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf. There are nine colonies in Abu Dhabi, Iran, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia. 30 colonies and more than 10,000 individuals live on the coast of Eritrea.
In addition, you can meet flying in Madagascar, Seychelles, India, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand. These birds generally do not leave the water further than 1000 meters. The usual locations are lagoons, beaches, river deltas.
The nutrition of all Charadriiformes varies depending on life habits and habitat. It can be spineless marine, algae, crustaceans, plant seeds, insects. Representatives of the genus include mainly insects and mollusks in the diet. The menu includes berries, seeds of plants that are in the habitat.
Golden plovers prefer insects, worms, snails. All prey is sought after by accessibility on earth. Dragonfly, larvae, bugs and even locusts may fall into the beak. Crustaceans in the menu are rare, depending on the area of location.
Plant foods are part of the diet. The brown-winged plovers can also eat insects. But they prefer to get berries, parts of plants. In particular, it is lingonberry and funnel. Tules's diet has almost no difference. But he prefers to eat small aquatic inhabitants. The ration of the Crayfish plover differs. For which she got her name.
Birds in search of food visit shallow water. The main prey is crustaceans. The bird acts quickly. Thanks to the beak, it has the strength to destroy the protective shell of its prey. Sometimes it attacks the Mudskippers, a ray-finned fish. Particularly noteworthy is the way of feeding the White plover. They take prey from other inhabitants of the coast.
Plover is a bird monogamous. Feathered live in pairs for several seasons. Not everyone is involved in creating nests. It can be a light bedding or a nest taken from another bird. But Golden plovers make an in-depth place in the soil, line the place for masonry.
Usually 4 eggs come into the world, not only the female, but also the father is engaged in the hatching process. The coloring of the shell is dark yellow and covered with splashes. Chicks see the light after a month. After that, they can immediately eat.
The brown-winged plovers make the nest a little smaller, but they also hatch 4 eggs. The shell color is similar. Both family members protect the nest and remove a possible pest. Chicks break through the shell in mid-July, soon begin to fly, and after a month reach the size of adults.
The color of Tules eggs is pinkish, brown, olive. Therefore, to distinguish which egg this one laid plover in the photo easy. Hatching takes place over 23 days. After the birth of the chicks, they can’t immediately live on their own, for this 5 weeks should pass. The bird's nest is lined with a thin layer of grass and lichens.
The white plover builds nests not only from grass, but also from stones, shells, and bones. Nearby penguins, cormorants nest. Usually in December-January 2-3 chicks appear, only one remains alive. The rest is taken by the parent himself. For two months the chick needs to remain in the nest before becoming independent.
Crayfish plovers do not build nests. They make burrows in the dunes. The passages are wide, indirect. Usually 1 egg appears. The color of the shell is white. A few days after the birth of the chicks are not at all independent.
Plovers have different lifespan. Thules can live 18 years, while the life of other individuals is limited to 12 years. This is a short term among birds. But it is larger than that of waders in general.
During observations, ornithologists not only study the breeding and behavioral characteristics of birds. They notice many interesting facts that significantly distinguish plovers from other winged ones.
- Plovers are record holders among other birds in the range of continuous flight. So they move from the Aleutian Islands to the Hawaiian. And this is not less than 3000 kilometers and 36 hours.
- Plovers are inherent in the regulation of water and salt intake. This ability have marine life.
- Black-headed plover (or in another crystal) is also called stupid plover.
- White plovers steal from the penguins not only fish, but also eggs, as well as small chicks. Vital waste is also present in the diet.
- Charadriiformes are among the oldest birds that survived the catastrophe at the end of the Cretaceous, unlike dinosaurs.
- On the territory of Russia spend time northern plovers.
Plovers are small birds that inhabit mostly northern areas off the coast. They feed on small insects, plants, marine life. Eggs hatch in holes and burrows. Capable of long flights, living in colonies, monogamous.