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The Sun-bitterns
Coming again to South America, we have another group of remarkable Crane-like birds known as the Sun-Bitterns.
The Finfeet
The last of the families of Crane-like birds remaining to be considered comprises the anomalous Finfeet, or Sun Grebes...
The Plover-like Birds
DIFFERING from the last order (Gruiformes), with which in a number of particulars they seem to be most closely related...
This is a group of large size and very wide distribution, its members, as already suggested,. being disposed among six families.
We may appropriately begin the consideration of this, the largest of the six families, with the interesting little Turnstones (Arenaria), so called from their constant habit of turning over shells and pebbles in search of their food of insects and crustaceans.
Associated with the last, at least by American ornithologists, is the Surf-bird (Aphriza virgata), which is distinguished by its longer tarsus...
Much larger than these, being sixteen to twenty-one inches long, are the Oyster-catchers (Hcematopus), a maritime, nearly cosmopolitan group of a dozen species...
Wattled Plovers
As an example of a group of some eight or nine genera of mainly Old World forms, in which the tarsus is transversely scaled in front and reticulated behind, we may only mention the Wattled Plovers (Lobivanellus)...
The Lapwings, of which there are many forms, take their name from their slow, flapping flight.
Cayenne Lapwing
Closely allied, indeed sometimes placed in the same genus, is the Cayenne Lapwing (Belonopterus cayennensis) of northern South America...
Crocodile Bird
We may turn again to the Old World and mention briefly a number of other Lapwings, first among them the far-famed Crocodile Bird...
Red-wattled Lapwing
The last of these birds to be noticed is the Red-wattled Lapwing (Sarcogrammus indicus), which ranges from Arabia to Persia and through the Indian peninsula to Ceylon.
True Plovers
The true Plovers form a considerable group of small or medium sized shore-birds, with rather short, somewhat Pigeon-like bill, large rounded head, short neck, long and pointed wings, and moderately lengthened legs, the hind toe usually absent.
One of the best known of all North American Plovers is the Killdeer (Oxyechus vociferus), which differs from the members of the last genus...
Golden Plovers
Another considerable genus of Plovers is Charadrius, in which the inner secondaries are very long and pointed...
Crook-billed Plover
We may here mention the remarkable Crook-bill Plover (Anarhynchus frontalis) of New Zealand, in which the long, slender bill is curved strongly to the right at about two thirds its length from the base.
The Dotterels
The Dotterels are another group of small Plovers but with no very strongly marked characters.
The Avocets and Stilts form a very well marked group, often separated as a distinct family (Recurvirostridce), and distinguished at once by their large size...
The Chilean Avocet
(R. andina) of the Andes of Chile is similar to the last, but has no white on the upper parts except on the head, neck, and rump.
In the Stilts the hind toe is entirely absent. Of the two genera we may first speak of Cladorhynchus, in which the bill is perfectly straight and all the toes webbed...
Of somewhat doubtful affinity though apparently related to the Stilts, is the peculiar monotypic Ibis-bill (Ibidorhynchus struthersi) of central Asia...
The graceful and handsome little birds known as Phalaropes may next claim our attention.
We have now come to the advance line of the second of the three subfamilies into which the Charadriidae are here separated, namely, the Tringince, or Sandpipers, Godwits, etc.
Quite closely related to the last genus, but lacking the hind toe, is the little Sanderling (Calidris leucophcea), the sole representative of its genus.
Spoon-billed Sandpiper
One of the most curious members of the group is the diminutive Spoon-billed Sandpiper (Eurynorhynchus pygmceus), so called from the fact that the bill is widely expanded and spoon-shaped at the tip, the width of the flattened portion being nearly half an inch.
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