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an order of birds comprising 11 families, including Jacanidae, Rostratulidae, Thinocoridae, Chara-driidae, Glareolidae, Stercorariidae, Laridae, and Alcidae. Of the more than 300 species, 135 are found in the USSR. The birds are distributed from the arctic to the shores of Antarctica, at elevations ranging from sea level to high-mountain zones. Species inhabiting regions with severe winters are migratory. Charadriiformes live along seashores, riverbanks, lakeshores, and the edges of swamps. Some live in dry steppes and deserts and fly to watering places. Few live in forests.
The nests are open and constructed on the ground or on cliffs; less commonly, the nests are in burrows or under rocks. A clutch contains one to four eggs. The young are precocial or nearly precocial. The birds feed on terrestrial or aquatic invertebrates; some are good divers and eat fish. The Stercorariidae and some large Laridae destroy nests and eat carrion and garbage.
A number of ornithologists divide the order Charadriiformes into three separate orders: Limicolae, Lari, and Alcae.
REFERENCEIudin, K. A. Filogeniia i klassifikatsiia rzhankoobraznykh. Moscow-Leningrad, 1965. (Fauna SSSR: Ptitsy, vol. 2, issue 1, part 1.)
A. I. IVANOV