Bird Families

Squad Charadriiformes, or Sandpipers


Chinese seagull - a breed of graceful, low, relatively short pigeons with a wide chest.

The head is rounded, but lower than that of other gulls. The beak is short or of medium length, wide at the base, forms a continuous arched line with the head. Although the forehead is broad, the head is not typically spherical. The black and blue Chinese gulls have a horn-black beak, the rest of the monochromatic, white with colored tail and white with colored shields, it is light. The waxes are small, but wide, white. The eyes are large, in monochromatic ones they are fiery red, in others they are dark.

Chinese gulls are one-color, with colored tails and shields, with white, black, blue, yellow, yellow-fawn, red, red-fawn and silvery-fawn plumage, there are also blue, yellow and red speckled.

Chinese seagulls are not originally from China, as the name might suggest (it was christened by the Parisian pigeon trader Destrivo). The exact origin of this gull is unknown; it was brought to Europe from Africa. This breed has much more feather ornaments than other gulls.


Sandpipers (Charadrii) roam in shallow water or land, getting their food (small insects, crustaceans, worms and molluscs), some of them (phalaropes), swimming, peck prey from the surface of the water.

Round-nosed phalaropes (Phalaropus lobatus)

They are all excellent flyers. Sandpipers lay eggs of variegated color directly on the ground in a small recess. Their chicks, after they hatched from the eggs and dried up, leave the nest. Out of 50 species of waders of our fauna, 9 are listed in the Red Book. The rarest of them is the curlew (Numenius tenuirostris).


Spindle - order Charadriiformes, family Snipe

Small bodew (Limosa lapponica). Habitat - North America, Eurasia. Wingspan 54 cm Weight 270 g

Several species of birds living in Australia and Asia are known under this name. America, Africa and Europe. The swallows live in wet tall-grass meadows, swampy shores of reservoirs, they are found in the steppe near the water. The name, apparently, comes from the mating cry of the male greeter, which can be conveyed by the sound combination “felted-festoon”. These large waders are fed by insects and their larvae, both "terrestrial" and aquatic, which are collected by the spindles in shallow waters in the coastal zone of the reservoir.

In the spring, a pair of shawls build so-called false nests, later the most convenient of them will be chosen by the female for laying. There are only 2 eggs in a clutch, which are incubated by both parents alternately. Chicks hatch after a little more than 20 days, by the middle of summer they fully fledge and become on the wing. For wintering, greeters fly away early - in late August-early September.

White plovers

White plovers, or caselaranos (Chionidae), of which there are only two species in the world fauna, live in Antarctica and Subantarctic. The common white plover (Chionis alba), which looks like a pigeon or even a chicken, is the only nesting species in Antarctica that lacks swimming membranes between the toes.

Ivory plovers often nest in penguin colonies


Avdotka - order Charadriiformes, family Avdotkovy
Avdotka (Burhinus grallarius). Habitat - Australia, Europe, Asia, Africa. Length 55 cm.Weight 500 g

The common avdotka lives in South Asia, North Africa and Western Europe. This bird inhabits steppes and semi-deserts, and is also found on the outskirts of real deserts. Everywhere avdotka is very rare, although even in the middle of the last century it was very numerous in the steppe zone of Russia.


Representatives of the gull family (Laridae) are associated with water spaces, their three front toes are connected by swimming membranes. Gulls are quite common in the Palaearctic, but there are species that have a limited range. These include the very useful black-headed gull (Larus melanocephalus), which nests mainly on the Black Sea coast, including on the islands of the Black Sea Biosphere Reserve.

The relict gull (L. relictus) looks like it, it can be found in Kazakhstan and Transbaikalia, the brown-headed gull (L. brunnicephalus), which lives on the lakes of the high-mountainous Pamirs, and the legendary rose gull (Rhodostethia rosea), which inhabits the tundra of Eastern Siberia.

Brown-headed gull in breeding plumage, India

Of the 23 species of gull birds in our fauna, five are rare, vulnerable or endangered. These are the black-headed gull (Larus ichthyaetus), the Chinese gull (Chroicocephalus saundersi), the relic gull (Ichthyaetus relictus), the red-footed talker (Rissa brevirostris) and the white gull (Pagophila eburnea).

Black-headed gull with chicks


Vodorez - detachment Razhankoobrannye, Vodorezovye family

Black water cutter (Rynchops nigra). Habitat - America. Length 45 cm Weight 420 g

The name of this seabird was given for an interesting way of hunting for insects that it feeds on: at dusk, the water cutter slowly glides over the very surface of the reservoir, rarely and silently flapping its long wings and plunging its orange-yellow beak into the water. Small aquatic animals, butterflies, beetles, dragonflies beating on the water become its prey. During the day, the bird lays down on sandy islets, muddy spits and shallows, showing no activity.


The skuas (Stercorariidae) are very similar to gulls, which are common on the coastal areas of high latitudes. Unlike gulls, the central pair of tail feathers is elongated and extends beyond the tops of the others. Skuas use a wide variety of animals and, as an exception, plant food (berries), often take food from other seabirds living nearby. This phenomenon is called kleptoparasitism. Many species of this family breed in Russia.

Antarctic Skua, South Africa

Charadriiformes. Squad of birds

Charadriiformes are one of the richest order species. Includes 3 suborders: Sandpipers (Charadrii), Seagulls (Lari) and Guillemots (Alcae). The total number of species is estimated from 300 to 320. Most charadriiformes are associated with humid habitats. These can be the shores of seas, lakes, rivers, temporary reservoirs, tundra, swamps, wet meadows and damp forests. The exception is representatives of the Tirkushkovye family (Glareolidae), which live mainly in steppe and semi-desert landscapes. 86 species of waders nest on the territory of Eurasia, 49 species of gulls and 20 species of guillemots. Some species are included in the IUCN Red List and the national Red Data Books of European and Asian countries.

Ussuriisky plover

The Ussuri plover is widespread in the south of the Primorsky Territory of Russia, in Northeast China and Japan. It nests along the banks of mountain rivers, preferring pebble shoals and sandy spits. The nesting hole is laid out with small pebbles. The clutch contains 4 eggs, which are incubated by male and female alternately. It feeds on larvae of aquatic and soil insects, small crustaceans and molluscs. Rare throughout its range, total population unknown. It is included in the Red Book of Russia.

Okhotsk snail

The Okhotsk snail is endemic to Russia. Nesting has been reliably established for Sakhalin Island and the coast of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk (Tugursky Peninsula). It is very similar to a large snail and in flight it differs in white, without streaks, under the wings. Nests in trees. Nest is built from thin twigs of larch, lined with lichens. A clutch of 4 eggs is incubated by male and female alternately. The food ration is dominated by aquatic and soil insects, their larvae, as well as worms, small crustaceans and nine-spined stickleback. Winters in Southeast Asia. The world population is estimated at less than 1000 individuals. The species is included in the Red Book of Russia. Protected during wintering in South Korea and Japan.


Lives in Central Asia, the Tien Shan, the Himalayas, North and West China. Occurs at altitudes from 2000 to 3500 m, and in Tibet - up to 4000 m above sea level. Breeds in valleys of mountain rivers on pebble shoals. Sicklebeak is a large sandpiper with a long, arched, bright red beak curved downward. The legs are long, three-toed. The middle and outer fingers are connected by a membrane. Differs in light and graceful flight. Swims well. The nest is a small hole in the gravel. A full clutch consists of 4 eggs. In the second half of the twentieth century. there was a decrease in the number of populations. The sicklebeak is included in the national Red Data Books of the states of Central Asia and Kazakhstan.

Japanese snipe

Lives in Japan, on the Kuril Islands and the islands of the Peter the Great Gulf. The Japanese snipe is also known to have been encountered on the coast of the Primorsky Territory, where it gravitates towards river valleys and abandoned fields. In the Kuril Islands and in Japan, it keeps on the slopes of hills covered with forbs or bamboo thickets. The clutch consists of 4 greenish eggs with brown spots. It feeds on insects, earthworms and grass seeds. Winters in Australia, New Zealand and the island of Tasmania. The total number of the population (according to counts at wintering grounds and at the time of arrival) does not exceed 30-36 thousand individuals. It is included in the Red Book of Russia, protected in Japan and Korea.

Asiatic snipe

By its features, it is so close to the little shrew that in the collections of some museums specimens of this species were mistaken for the little shrew. Breeds on wetlands in floodplains and river deltas in the south of Western Siberia, in the north of Mongolia and in Northwest China. Winters in Southeast Asia, the Philippine Islands and Australia. The total number of the population is estimated at z © 23 thousand individuals.

Great snipe

The pattern and color of the plumage is very similar to the common snipe (Gallinago gallinago), but differs in white helmsmen (three extreme pairs). The snipe is somewhat larger than the snipe, and its beak is shorter. Wing length does not exceed 13.5 cm. Distributed from Denmark and southern Finland to the east to the Yenisei. In the tundra, it reaches 68 ° north latitude. The spring bale of great snipe passes on the ground. It starts at dusk and continues at night. The current is of a group nature, several dozen birds gather for it. Males click with their beak directed upwards, ruffle their feathers, lower and raise their wings, spread their tail like a fan, bending it towards the back. Damp meadows, grassy swamps covered with willows are the favorite habitats for the great snipe. The nest is a small depression in the sod; there are 4 eggs in the clutch. Great snipe populations in Western and Eastern Europe are small.

Far Eastern curlew

The Far Eastern conchep belongs to the endemic species of waders on the territory of Russia. The nesting area splits into several isolated areas (central and southern regions of Eastern Siberia, the Far East). Prefers grassy swamps or damp meadows, where it forms small nesting colonies. It differs well from the curlew by the absence of white color on the back and upper tail. The nest is a small hole in which the female lays 4 olive-greenish eggs. Curlews feed on insects, small crustaceans, molluscs, as well as berries (blueberries, lingonberries, cranberries). The population is estimated at 20-21 thousand individuals, most of which winter in Australia. It is included in the Red Book of Russia. It is protected in the Far Eastern reserves and in places of flight (Japan, Korea).

Relic seagull

It is larger than black-headed gull and differs from other species of gulls by a white ring around the eyes, visible at a considerable distance. In flight, it resembles a black-headed gull, but unlike the latter, it has a dark beak. Until 1968, a relict gull was known from a single specimen from Mongolia. At present, its nesting has been established on lakes Alakol (Kazakhstan), Zun-Torey and Barun-Torey (Transbaikalia). The total number is at least 12 thousand individuals. To protect the rare species on Lake Alakol, a relict seagull reserve has been created.

Steppe tirkushka

In the past, it was a numerous species of the Eurasian steppes from the lower reaches of the Danube to the foothills of Altai. By the middle of the XX century. European populations were severely degraded, the tirkushka practically disappeared in the Danube steppes, Ukraine and the Middle Don basin. At present, a stable nesting area has been preserved in the Caspian lowlands, the steppes of Bashkiria, Baraba and Kulunda.

Steppe tirkushki regularly nest in the lower reaches of the Syr Darya and the foothills of the Tien Shan. Long pointed wings and a forked tail, like that of swallows, are characteristic of tirkushek. The legs are short and four-toed, with a small membrane between the middle and outer toes.

Tirkushki catch their prey (beetles, locusts) in the air. Steppe tirkushki are very mobile and loud. In flight, the neck is bent down with a hump. In Africa, where they winter, they are called locust birds. Tirkushki gather in large flocks and feed on locusts. The nest is a small depression in the ground. There are 4 eggs in a clutch. Nesting colonies include dozens and sometimes hundreds of pairs.

Chinese little gull

This gull is a rare little-known species of black-headed gulls, discovered in 1987 on nesting in the coastal zone of the Yellow Sea (China) and on islands off the coast of the Korean Peninsula. Clutch consists of 3 eggs, incubation of which lasts up to 24 days. It differs from the lesser gull in its black beak. The total population size does not exceed 7.1-9.6 thousand individuals and continues to decline. The wintering grounds for these rare birds are located on the southeastern coast of China, Taiwan and, apparently, in the northeastern regions of Indochina. Some nesting colonies in China have been transformed into reserves for the protection of rare birds.

Oduenova's seagull

Oduenova's gull is similar in size to the herring gull, but in flight it is easy to distinguish it by its red beak with a black band. Breeds on islands and western Mediterranean coast. The total number is about 19.2 thousand couples. Some of the colonies are under protection.


Golden plovers often live in colonies, which include representatives not only of their own species, but also of others. These can be curlews or snails. The species returns to the nesting areas in the midst of melting snow. The bird's nest is organized in the depressions of the soil. Most often, they develop swampy mounds (hummocks) or the foothills of pines. Places are chosen non-grassy, ​​avoiding the proximity of shrubs and damp watery areas. However, very dry lands with sparse vegetation are also not to their liking for golden plovers. Many plovers return to the area of ​​last year's nesting sites. The period of mating and pairing is spring.

Birds fly out to fish during the day, but if there is little food, then golden plovers can hunt in the evening.

The spring migration of golden plovers to their native places takes place from March to the second part of April. In autumn, birds migrate to warm regions in September - November.


Tie - detachment Charadriiformes, family Charadriiformes

Tie (Charadrius hiaticula). Habitat - Eurasia, North America. Wingspan 41 cm Weight 80 g

These birds got their name for the characteristic white stripe on the neck. Ties inhabit the shores of water bodies in northern Europe, Asia and America. Everywhere they lead a migratory lifestyle, for the winter they fly to Africa, Southeast Asia and southern regions of Europe. Birds run well, fly well, but practically do not know how to swim, although their whole life passes by the water. They feed on small insects and invertebrates, which are collected either on the shore or in shallow water.


Saunders Seagull or chinese gull(Chroicocephalus saundersi) are a species of gull in the family Laridae.

Its natural habitats are estuarine waters and intertidal swamps.

As with many other gulls, it has traditionally been placed in the genus Larusbut based on phylogenetic work some have moved it to Chroicocephalus, while others have argued that it is great enough to be placed in a monotypic Saundersilarus.

This is threatened by the loss of habitat.One of its few remaining strongholds is the Yancheng Coastal Wetlands, which hosts about 20% of the world's population.

Saunders' seagull is named after British bird watcher Howard Saunders.


It is a very small species of gull with a length of simple and among gulls, only the small gull is smaller. Adults have a black bonnet and nape during the breeding season. It is very pale with a white body, pale gray wings and a narrow black tail stripe. The legs and short bill are black and the body is squat. Non-breeding birds have a mottled gray hood and nape and white-tipped wings with black markings in the primary.

Distribution and habitat

Saunders' gull breeds in eastern China and the west coast of Korea. It breeds in salt marshes dominated by seepweed (Suaeda glauca)... It overwinters in southern China, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, South Korea, southwestern Japan, and Vietnam. Its winter habitats are aquaculture estuaries and reservoirs, and some of the population moves inland to lakes and marshes.


Saunders' gull catches its prey by flying about ten meters above the ground (yards) and dropping quickly on whatever suitable prey it finds. Thus it catches mudskippers, crabs, fish and worms. It is also kleptoparasite when stealing food from other bird species. It is a poor swimmer, with only partially webbed feet, and usually stays on the ground, moving the beach upward in front of the rising tide.

It breeds in salt marshes, its nest being a simple scratch in the ground. Birds are monogamous and each pair occupies territory. Two or three eggs are laid in May and incubation takes approximately 22 days. Adults and juveniles leave for their quarters of winter in October.


The total population of this gull is estimated to be 21,000 to 22,000 and appears to be in decline. IUCN rated him Vulnerable. The main threats it faces are the deterioration of its habitat, as it is highly dependent on salt marshes dominated by seepweed. In China, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan and elsewhere, salt marshes are being depleted to make way for aquaculture. Introducing smooth cordgrass strong growth (Spartina alterniflora) also had harmful effects. The excitement of adults also leads to more predation on eggs and chicks.