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The Anhingas, Or Darters
The Anhingas, Darters, or Snake-birds are readily distinguished from the other members of the group and more particularly from their nearest of kin, the Cormorants, by their elongated bodies, excessively long, slender, snake-like necks, very small, narrow heads, and the slender, nearly straight, and very sharp-pointed bills.
The Gannets
Gannet, Booby, and Solan-goose are the names variously applied to the members of this small family. The first, and perhaps most widely employed, is Gannet, a word derived apparently from the Old English gan, after the manner of gander and goose.
Common Gannet
The family Sulidae is clearly a very old one, for not less than four fossil species have been described from the Miocene age, three coming from France and one, a very well marked species, from North Carolina.
The Frigate - birds
Sharing the tropical oceans with the Tropic-birds are the so-called Frigate-birds or Man-o'-war Birds, of which three forms only are known.
The Heron Tribe
The second suborder of the Ciconiiformes, or Stork-like birds, embraces the Herons and their immediate relatives.
The Herons
Beyond the fact already pointed out of their resemblance to the Cranes and Rails, the Herons form a relatively compact and generally wellknown group.
Great Blue And Ward's Herons
One of the largest and most widely distributed of the North American species is the Great Blue Heron (A. Herodias), which is found from the sub-Arctic regions southward to the West Indies and northern South America.
European Blue Heron
The European Blue Heron (A. Cinerea), found in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia, and accidentally in Greenland; is colored very much like the two species above described, but differs in having the thighs and the edge of the wing white instead of cinnamon-rufous.
The Goliath Heron
(A. Goliath) of tropical Africa and occasional in India is another elegant species, being about fifty-four inches in length and having the head and crest-feathers chestnut.
The large Egrets form a very interesting and showy group, by some referred to the genus Herodias, but by others placed in the same genus as those we have been considering.
The Night Herons
(Nycticorax and Nyctanassa), so called from the fact that they are mainly nocturnal in their habits, are medium-sized Herons, ranging from eighteen to about twenty-four inches in length, of very stout, thick build, with large, thick heads and very thick bills.
American Black Heron
The American Black-crowned Night Heron, or Quawk, as it is usually called (N. Nycticorax naevius), is larger than its European relative, being from twenty-three to twenty-six inches long.
The only other members of the group to be mentioned are the Bitterns, which are distinguished at once by having only ten tail-feathers and the middle toe with its claw about equal to or greatly exceeding the tarsus.
The American Bittern (b. Lentiginosus)
The American Bittern is found throughout temperate North America, Guatemala, and Cuba, while the European species (B. Stellaris) ranges throughout the temperate parts of the Old World and south to India and Burma.
The Boat—bills
The present family comprises but a single genus (Cochlearius) and two species, the oldest known being the South American Boat-bill (C. Cochlearius)...
The Hammer—head, Or Umbrette
Although a much smaller bird than the one last considered, — the Hammer-head is only about twenty inches in total length...
The Storks
The Storks, although very widely distributed and popularly quite well known, are a small group comprising less than twenty forms.
White Stork
The true Storks (Ciconia) are confined to the Old World,three species being recognized, of which the White Stork (C. ciconia) is by far the best known.
Japanese Stork
Very similar to this species is the Japanese Stork (C. Boyciana) of eastern Siberia, Korea, and Japan, though it is much larger and has the bill horn-black instead of red, and the spot around the eye vermilion-red instead of black.
Black Stork
The remaining species of the genus is the Black' Stork (C. Nigra), a smaller bird than the White, and quite different in habits.
Maguari Stork
South America is the home of a fine species known as the Maguari Stork (Euxenura maguari).
White-necked Stork
Allied to the Maguari by the possession of the peculiar forked tail is the White-necked Stork (Dissoura Episcopus), which ranges over tropical Africa, the Indo-Chinese countries, and through the Indian and Malay peninsulas to Celebes.
Abdim's Stork
Among the true Storks also we may mention Abdim's, or the White-bellied Stork (Abdimia abdimii), a native of tropical Africa and extending thence into Arabia and Spain.
Allied to the Adjutants is the Jabiru (Mycteria Americana) of continental tropical America, but also coming as far north as Texas.
Shell Storks
The Open-bills, or Shell Storks (Anastomus), are among the smallest of the group, being only twenty-eight or thirty inches in length.
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