Core Waterbirds Album

These photo albums group together core waterbird families placed under the same and related Aves orders. Each primary gallery displays adult portraits of individual species and juvenile/immature birds when I’ve been able to photograph them. Additional galleries supplements the portrait galleries to features behaviour such as foraging, hunting, feeding and action including flight.

Purple Heron (Ardea purpurea manilensis) closeup with stabbed fish at Japanese Garden in Singapore

Bitterns and egrets are from the same family as herons, and the habitat they occupy is the same. Egrets are similar in size to herons, but bitterns are much smaller and more agile.

Yellow Bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis) male perched in palm frond and hunting fish at Singapore's Botanic Gardens

Bitterns and egrets are from the same family as herons. The habitat they occupy is the same as herons. Egrets are similar in size to herons, but bitterns are much smaller and more agile.

Black-necked Stork (Ephippiorhynchus asiaticus australis) female foraging at Yellow Water Region in Northern Territories

Pelicans and storks families belong to different Aves Orders. These are large cosmopolitan birds that are similar in size. Pelicans habitat is open water, while storks occupy a variety of wetland habitats with some species in grassland and forest areas.

Scarlet Ibis (Eudocimus ruber) at flying and foraging at Orange Valley Mudflats

Medium to large size birds that occupy all regions of the world except the Antarctic. Habitat includes a variety of wetlands while some species in grassland and forest areas.

Little Pied Cormorant (Microcarbo melanoleucos) feeding on fish at Camden Haven Inlet in New South Wales

These are cosmopolitan birds but with a higher species diversity in the tropics. Medium to large size birds whose habitat includes open water in both coastal and inland areas.

Waterbird Taxonomy

The Ramsar Convention lists the species of birds that are “ecologically dependent upon wetlands” and takes a whole-taxon approach in defining these waterbird families. However, the holistic approach does result in the inclusion of a few non-wetland species such as some seabirds and stone curlews. I follow J Boyd’s Taxonomy in Flux Checklist to map the Ramsar Convention list into to the two waterbird groups of Aves Orders. And to resolve some non-wetland bird inconsistencies. The Aequornithes taxonomic branch follows:

Core waterbirds (Aequornithes) that belong to the following Aves Orders:

(a) Ardeiformes (Herons, Egrets and Bitterns);

(b) Pelecaniformes (Pelicans);

(c) Plataleiformes (Ibises and Spoonbills);

(d) Suliformes (Cormorants and Darters). This order includes boobies and frigatebirds. They are part of the seabird photo albums see  Boobies, Frigatebirds and Tropicbirds Album;

(e) Ciconiiformes (Storks).

(f) Sphenisciformes (Penguins) although part of the core group, I included these in photo album in seabirds photo albums see Penguins and Auks.

Gaviiformes (Loons) is also part of the Aequornithes clade.