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Herons, Storks, Ibises, and Spoonbills


Herons, Storks, Ibises, and Spoonbills - Order Ciconiiformes.

Herons, Storks, Ibises, and Spoonbills - Order Ciconiiformes.

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Herons and their relatives (Order Ciconiiformes) are wading birds that have long necks, large bodies, long legs, and strong, specialized bills. These adaptations make Ciconiiformes well-suited for their wetland habitats. Their long bills and flexible necks enable them to probe down into the muddy shallows to forage for prey. Long legs ensure that their bodies remain out of the water as the wade through wetlands.

The Order Coconiiformes includes herons, ibises, spoonbills, storks, bitterns, and egrets. Most species are solitary feeders and roost in large groups at night. When they breed, they form colonies.


  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Ciconiiformes
    The Order Ciconiiformes contains the following subgroups:
    • Family: Ciconiidae (storks)
    • Family: Ciconiidae (storks)
    • Family: Ardeidae (herons)
    • Family: Threskiornithidae (ibises and spoonbills)
    • Family: Scolopacidae (sandpipers)
    • Family: Balaenicipitidae (shoebill)
    • Family: Cathartidae (new world vultures)
    • Family: Procellariidae (petrels and shearwaters)
    • Family: Rostratulidae (painted snipe)
    • Family: Scopidae (hamerkop)


Freshwater wetland habitats.
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