Red-naped Ibis (Pseudibis papillosa)

Also known as the Indian Black Ibis, or simply as the Black Ibis, the red-naped ibis is a dark species of ibis (Threskiornithidae) that is widely distributed in the plains of the Indian Subcontinent. Red-naped ibises are typically encountered near lakes, marshes, riverbeds and even irrigated farmlands. They are a gregarious species, generally foraging on the margins of wetlands for various small vertebrates, grains, and various invertebrates. 

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Pelecaniformes-Threskiornithidae-Pseudibis-P. papillosa

Image: J.M.Garg

Stripe-backed Bittern (Ixobrychus involucris)

…a small species of Ixobrychus bittern which is distributed in large patches across South America. It occurs in Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana and the island of Trinidad to the north and Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Brazil to the south. Like other Ixobrychus bitterns, the stripe-backed bittern will inhabit reed beds and sedge where it will feed on small fish, crustaceans and insects. Stripe-backed bitterns are secretive and solitary doing most of their feeding at night. 

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Pelecaniformes-Ardeidae-Ixobrychus-I. involucris

Image: viviremco

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Birds Of A Feather Aren’t Necessarily Related

A series of exhaustive new studies on bird genetics has found new relationships between different species and elucidated the bird species explosion after the extinction of the dinosaurs. Read all about it here.

What’s your favorite ______formes? Mine’s Pelecaniformes!!!

Tree image: AAAS/Carla Schaffer

Bird images: (Left and center)iStock; (Right) Chris Minerva/Ocean/Corbis

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Shoebill (Balaeniceps rex)

The shoebill is a very large stork-like bird. It derives its name from its massive shoe-shaped bill. Although it has a somewhat stork-like overall form and has previously been classified in the order Ciconiiformes, its true affiliations with other living birds is ambiguous. Some authorities now reclassify it with the Pelecaniformes. The adult is mainly grey while the juveniles are browner. It lives in tropical east Africa in large swamps from Sudan to Zambia. The shoebill is a tall bird, with a typical height range of 110 to 140 cm (43 to 55 in) and some specimens reaching as much as 152 cm (60 in). The shoebill is noted for its slow movements and tendency to remain still for long periods, resulting in repeated descriptions of the species as “statue-like”. They are quite sensitive to human disturbance and may abandon their nests if flushed by humans. BirdLife International has classified it as Vulnerable with the main threats being habitat destruction, disturbance and hunting.