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Charadriiformes is an order of birds that mainly live near water and eat invertebrates or other small animals. For an alternative taxonomy, see also Sibley-Ahlquist taxonomy. They are divided into three suborders:

  • Lari. These are the gulls and their allies. These are generally larger species which take fish from the sea. Several gulls and skuas will also take food items off beaches, or rob smaller species.

  • Alcae. The auks. These are coastal species which nest on sea cliffs and "fly" underwater to catch fish.

The Sibley-Alquist taxonomy which has been widely accepted in America, lumps all the Charadriiformes, seabirds and birds of prey into a greatly enlarged Ciconiiformes.

Interesting(?) fact The plural of one member of this order, spelled backward, is the singular of another member of this order, the skua.

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