Classification of Birds on Our Safari by Order

Accipitriformes is an order of birds that includes most of the diurnal birds of prey, including hawks, eagles, vultures, and kites, but not falcons. For a long time, the majority view was to include them with the falcons in the Falconiformes, but many authorities now recognize a separate Accipitriformes.

Anseriformes is an order of birds also known as waterfowl that comprises about 180 living species of birds in three families: Anhimidae, Anseranatidae, and Anatidae, the largest family, which includes over 170 species of waterfowl, among them the ducks, geese, and swans.

Bucerotiformes is an order of birds that contains the hornbills, ground hornbills, hoopoes and wood hoopoes. These birds were previously classified as members of Coraciiformes.

Charadriiformes is a diverse order of small to medium-large birds. It includes about 390 species and has members in all parts of the world. Most charadriiform birds live near water and eat invertebrates or other small animals; however, some are pelagic, others frequent deserts, and a few are found in dense forest.

Ciconiiformes contains any member of the five or six families of stork like birds: herons and bitterns (Ardeidae), the shoebill (sole species of the Balaenicipitidae), the hammerhead (sole species of the Scopidae), typical storks and wood storks (Ciconiidae), ibis and spoonbills (Threskiornithidae), and, according to some authorities, flamingos (Phoenicopteridae).

Coraciiformes are a group of usually colorful birds including the kingfishers, the bee-eaters, the rollers, the motmots, and the todies. They generally have syndactyly, with three forward-pointing toes, though in many kingfishers one of these is missing.

Cuculiformes comprises small- to medium-sized birds, with a worldwide distribution in forests and woodlands of temperate, subtropical, and tropical climates. Most are arboreal, although some are ground dwelling.

Galliformes is an order of heavy-bodied ground-feeding birds that includes turkeys, chickens, quail, and other land fowl. Gallinaceous birds, as they are called, are important in their ecosystems as seed dispersers and predators and are often reared by humans for their meat and eggs, or hunted as game birds. 

Otidiformes or bustards, floricans and korhaans, is an order of large and highly terrestrial birds mainly associated with dry open country and steppes in the Old World. They range in length from 40 to 150 cm (16 to 59 in). They make up the family Otididae (formerly known as Otidae). Bustards are omnivorous and opportunistic, eating leaves, buds, seeds, fruit, small vertebrates, and invertebrates.

Passeriformes includes more than half of all bird species. Sometimes known as perching birds, passerines are distinguished from other orders of birds by the arrangement of their toes, which facilitates perching.

Pelecaniformes are an order of medium-sized and large waterbirds found worldwide. As traditionally—but erroneously—defined, they encompass all birds that have feet with all four toes webbed. Hence, they were formerly also known by such names as totipalmates or steganopodes.

Phoenicopteriformes is a group of water birds which comprises flamingos and their extinct relatives. Flamingos and the closely related grebes are contained in the parent clade Mirandornithes.

Struthioniformes is an order of birds with only a single extant family, Struthionidae, containing the ostriches.

By Cascoly

I've been exploring and leading trips for over 40 years. climbing & trekkng in the Alps, Andes, North American mountain ranges and the Himalaya. I'm retired from mountaineering now but world travels in Europe, Africa & Asia continue to expand my portfolio. Besides private travel, I now focus on escorting trips to India & Turkey. Other interests include wide reading in history and vegetable gardening / cooking. You can download digital images here, or find images at We have many thousands of images we haven't displayed yet; so, if you have a special need or request please contact us