Order Anseriformes

Did you know that the order Anseriformes, is one of two modern bird orders that have been around since the time of the dinosaurs? While birds were present during the Age of Dinosaurs, most did not survive the centuries following the asteroid impact (due to loss of habitat and food), but members of the order Anseriformes and Galliformes (the second modern bird order to be present then), were able to survive as they had the niches of living at the edge of the waters (Anseriformes) or being ground-dwelling (Galliformes) and didn’t rely on the trees on land (for food or shelter).

Northern Shoveler in its summer colors, swimming at Boomer Lake

There are three families found within the order Anseriformes, with only one being cosmopolitan in terms of distribution. The three families are: Anseranatidae (the magpie goose, found in northern Australia and southern New Guinea), the Anhimidae (the screamers, all three species found within South America), and Anatidae (the most populous family with over 170 different species).

Canada goose and gosling at Boomer Lake

While members of the order are hunted as food (or hobby)–the screamers are actually not hunted, due in part to thier flesh having a spongy texture and being riddled with air sacs.

Members of the order all have webbed feet due to being mainly aquatic birds.

In terms of habitat, they inhabit aquatic environments–mainly freshwater (lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, marshes, and swamps), but some can be found in more marine environments during the winter season.

Goals for this order include: getting a photograph of various members of the Anatidae family on other continents, getting a photograph of members of the other two familys (Anseranatidae and Anhimidae); also possible ‘research article’ on the Anseriformes found during the Age of Dinosaurs.

References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/anseriformes; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/screamer; and https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/anseriformes