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(vertebrate zoology)
An order of predominantly long-legged, long-necked birds, including herons, storks, ibises, spoonbills, and their relatives.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



an order of birds that includes six families: true herons (Ardeidae), boatbills (Cochleariidae), whaleheads (Balaenicipitidae), hammerheads, or hammerhead herons (Scopidae), storks (Ciconiidae), and ibises (Threskiornithidae). Representatives of these families vary greatly in outward appearance, but most have long beaks, necks, and legs. The bill is conical, with a sharp ridge in storks and herons, and in ibises, an arched curve. Some Ciconiiformes have flat bills with a spadelike broadening at the top (spoonbills), and others have short, very broad, bulbous bills, with a hook on the end (boatbills and whaleheads). Many Ciconiiformes have unfeathered skin areas and a tuft or tufts of long feathers on the back of the head, near the crop, or on the shoulders. The wings are blunt and the tail relatively short.

Ciconiiformes are found throughout the world, but chiefly in the tropics and subtropics. There are 120 species, 22 of which are found in the USSR. All Ciconiiformes inhabit wet areas, such as marshes and the reedy areas along the shores of bodies of water. An exception is the stork, which inhabits meadows, valleys, and forests. Ciconiiformes feed on small animals: amphibians, reptiles, fish, and mammals, as well as large insects, mollusks, crustaceans, and other invertebrates. They seek food on land or in shallow waters, sometimes waiting for it by standing motionless in thick vegetation. They are incapable of pursuing their prey. Their movements are deliberate and their stride long and measured. Their long legs and necks make it possible for Ciconiiformes to notice danger ahead of time in the midst of thick but low vegetation.

Most Ciconiiformes are capable only of active flight, but the storks can soar like birds of prey. They build their nests in trees, more rarely in reeds, and many nest on cliffs or roofs. There are three to five eggs in a clutch. The birds are monogamous, and the parents feed the offspring for two months or more. Young herons and adult specimens of some smaller species readily walk on the branches of shore trees. Ciconiiformes are not commercially exploited, but many species are useful in agriculture, because they destroy harmful insects.


Tugarinov, A. la. “Veslonogie, aistoobraznye, flamingo.” In Fauna SSSR: Ptitsy, vol. 1, part 3. Moscow-Leningrad, 1947. (New series, no. 33.)
Ptitsy Sovetskogo Soiuza, vol. 2. Edited by G. P. Dement’eva and N. A. Gladkova. Moscow, 1951.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Two new species of Colpocephalum (Mallophaga: Menoponidae) from neotropical Ciconiiformes. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 60:875-878.
On their part, waders (Ciconiiformes) use the shallow parts of the lagoon extensively to forage, both during the non-breeding and breeding season (Mellink and de la Riva 2005, Mellink and Riojas-Lopez 2008).
Water birds (according to Sonobe and Usui 1993) of the following orders: Pelecaniformes, Ciconiiformes, Anseriformes, Gruiformes and Charadriiformes.
(7) Overall, osseous sarcomas have been described in a variety of avian species from the taxonomic Orders Psittaciformes, Columbiformes, Ciconiiformes, Galliformes, and Passiformes.
A importancia da ordem Ciconiiformes na cadeia epidemiologica de Salmonella spp.
Breeding success of a colony of Boat-billed Herons Cochlearius cochlearius (Ciconiiformes: Ardeidae) in pasturelands of Costa Rica.
Palabras clave: Laguna costera tropical, anidacion, conservacion, manglares, Phalacrocoracidae, Ciconiiformes, Charadriiformes.
However, some do, and the waterfowl (Anseriformes, Charadriiformes, Ciconiiformes) could be introductory hosts for HPAI H5N1 to the New World (Table 2).
Tracheal Individual Group Total swab fecal fecal Order Pos Neg Pos Neg Pos Neg Pos Neg Anseriformes 0 2 ND ND 0 3 0 5 Charadriiformes 0 7 0 7 0 5 0 19 Ciconiiformes 0 5 0 3 0 3 0 11 Columbiformes 0 15 1 42 0 24 1 81 Coraciiformes 1 11 0 3 2 18 3 32 Galliformes 1 12 6 65 3 9 10 86 Gruiformes 0 3 0 5 0 3 0 11 Passeriformes 2 41 30 82 47 75 79 198 Psittaciformes 0 6 ND ND 0 1 0 7 Total 4 102 37 207 52 141 93 450 Abbreviations: Pos indicates positive; Neg, negative; ND, not done.