LATIN NAME
COMMON NAME
DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF ADULTS
GAVIIFORMES
Loons
Loons have fully webbed feet and sharp, pointed bills. They have small wings and dive and swim well under water.
PODICIPEDIFORMES
Grebes
Grebes are duck-like birds but have pointed bills and lobed toes. They have small wings and dive and swim well under water.
PELECANIFORMES
Pelicans and Allies
Pelicans are large birds with short legs and webbed feet. They have huge bills with a giant throat pouch used to catch fish.
CICONIIFORMES
Herons and Bitterns
These waders have long legs and necks and webbed feet. They have elegant crests and plumes during the breeding season.
ANSERIFORMES
Swans, Geese and Ducks
These birds vary greatly in size. They are all aquatic, have webbed feet and mostly bills that are wider than they are high.
FALCONIFORMES
Birds of Prey
These birds are mostly diurnal and prey on small animals. They have strong, sharply hooked bills, and strong legs and feet with pointed talons.
GALLIFORMES
Grouse, Pheasants and Allies
These birds have short legs and necks and live primarily on the ground. They have strong bills and short, rounded wings.
GRUIFORMES
Cranes, Rails and Allies
Cranes are tall birds with long legs and necks and heavy bills. They have tertial feathers over the rump. Rails have short tails and rounded wings.
CHARADRIIFORMES
Shorebirds
This group is diverse, including plovers, sandpipers, gulls and terns.
COLUMBIFORMES
Pigeons and Allies
Pigeons and doves have strong wings and small heads. They are fast flyers.
CUCULIFORMES
Cuckoos
Cuckoos have slender bodies with long tails. They have two toes on each foot that point forward and two that point backward.
STRIGIFORMES
Owls
Owls are predominantly nocturnal, birds of prey. They have big heads and immobile eyes. They fly almost soundlessly.
CAPRIMULGIFORMES
Goatsuckers
These birds have long wings, small bills and a huge mouth. They fly at dusk or night and feed on insects.
APODIFORMES
Swifts and Hummingbirds
Swifts are very fast birds with long, pointed wings. Hummingbirds are the smallest birds. They eat insects and nectar.
CORACIIFORMES
Kingfishers and Allies
Kingfishers have large heads, short legs and a large bill. They catch fish.
PICIFORMES
Woodpeckers
These birds have sharp, chisel-like beaks, pointed feathers and clawed feet with two toes pointing forward and two back. They eat insects and grubs that they catch by boring into trees.
PASSERIFORMES
Songbirds
This is the largest and most diverse order of birds. These are perching birds.
MIGRANT SPECIES OF ALBERTA
EGGS OF THE WORLD