Order Pelecaniformes

white pelican at boomer lake
Lone white pelican migrating through Stillwater

So the birds that belong to this order are medium to large size water birds that have worldwide distribution.

Their diet consists of fish and aquatic/marine life (such as salamanders, frogs, squids and so forth, depending on the species and location).

They all have colonial nesting habits, and the young when hatched are helpless and fort the most part also naked.

In terms of the classification–classically it was based on morphological characteristics, which led to other bird families also being grouped in this order. With the advances of DNA sequencing, it was determined that the other families while sharing morphological characteristics–genetically they were different enough to be moved to thier own orders.

The families that make up the order Pelecaniformes include:

Family Pelecanidae (the pelicans)

Brown Pelicans flying at dawn. South Padre Island, TX

Family Balanicipitidae (the shoebill)

Family Scopidae (the hamerkop)

Family Threskiornithidae (ibises and spoonbills)

Ibis at the South Padre Island Birding and Wildlife Center

Family Ardeidae (herons, egrets, and bitterns)

Common Egret migrating through and stopping briefly at Boomer Lake

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pelecaniformes

Unless noted all pictures have been taken by the owner of the blog: Jessica Matts