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Unformatted text preview: 3/16/2010 1 Shorebirds Order Charadriiformes Suborder Charadrii Order Charadriiformes Three suborders: Shorebirds Suborder Charadii Gull and Terns Suborder Lari Alcids Suborder Alcae Charadrii -- Shorebirds Placed in the order Charadriiformes with the gulls, skuas, terns, skimmers and auks Based on a shared schizognathous palate and similarities in syrinx and leg tendons An alternative view (based on DNA-DNA hybridization studies) is that the entire group, including shorebirds, is a suborder of the Ciconiformes with about 12 families of shorebirds (including sheathbills) and all other species grouped together in the family Laridae Generally divided into ~12 families Three of primary interest Scolopacidae--sandpipers, snipes, & phalaropes Charadrii -- Shorebirds Charadriidae--plovers Haematopodidae--oystercatchers 58% of species use marine habitats regularly, either during breeding or non- breeding seasons Foraging Omnivorous, although inverts (insects, molluscs, polychaetes) are dominant prey, Charadrii -- Shorebirds but also amphibians, fishes, seeds, and fruit Forage visually or probe in mud Bill shapes diverse in length and shape, tactile and chemosensitive receptors at tips (Scolopacidae) Resource Partitioning: They never line up! 3/16/2010 2 Sociality Gregarious when not breeding and territorial during breeding season Non-breeding individuals may defend small Charadrii -- Shorebirds Non breeding individuals may defend small temporary feeding territories and rejoin flock when tide covers site or predators appear Some are colonial breeders--avocets and stilts, crab plovers, sheathbills Western sandpipers Breeding systems vary considerably among species Most are monogamous, with pair bonds formed for a season and both sexes caring for young Charadrii -- Shorebirds for a season and both sexes caring for young In some, pair bonds are strong and may persist year to year--Eurasian oystercatchers and semipalmated sandpipers Polygyny found in at least 25 species--sandpipers, snipes, and woodcocks In a few, birds gather at leks where males display to females from small, vigorously defended territories In lek systems, copulation does not involve pair- bonding and males play no role in parental care Best known are the Buff-breasted sandpiper, Great snipe, and Ruff (& Reeve) Charadrii -- Shorebirds Polyandry occurs in Phalaropes, all Jacanas (ex Lesser Jacana), some plovers, painted- snipes, and sandpipers Males incubate eggs and raise young Some spp exhibit sex-role reversal Sex-role reversal When food is extremely scarce, it is conceivable that the energy reserves of the female would be depleted following laying d th t dditi l f l i t t ld and that additional female investment would result in greatly increased risk of female mortality (and chick mortality)....
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