Pelecaniformes – Pelicans, herons & ibises
Medium and large waterbirds found worldwide, most have a bare throat patch
Pelecaniformes has two suborders – Ardei and Pelecani. The suborder Ardei includes egrets, herons, bitterns, ibises, and spoonbills, while Pelecani includes pelicans, shoebills, and hamerkops.
Birds in this order are medium to large-sized waterbirds with the hallux (first toe) pointing forwards and webbed with the other three toes. Another distinctive feature is the patch of bare skin on their throat, known as the gular patch. Most species nest in tight colonies with altricial young, which means the babies are born naked (without feathers) and are helpless.
Their aquatic nature means they feed on fish, reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans, mollusks, and aquatic insects.
Birds of this order have been affected by human disturbances in their colonies and persecution by fishers as they are mistakenly viewed as competition for fish.
Families in this order
Swordsmen of the birds world
Their beaks are no less than a swiss army knife
Their beak pouch can easily hold up to 3 gallons (11 liters) of water
One of the most bizarre creatures you can ever lay your eyes upon
The hammerheads of the bird kingdom