; class Aves, order Charadriiformes)
A family of medium-sized brown, grey, or black and white waders, in which the head and neck are often boldly marked. Some are crested or have wattles. They have short necks and long wings, some have spurs, and their legs are short to long with a reduced or absent hallux. They inhabit open, bare areas, nesting on the ground and feeding on a variety of animal matter. Most are migratory. The three species of Pluvialis breed in upland and tundra areas in N. America, Europe, and Asia, and winter on grassland and coastal estuaries in S. America, Africa, and Australia. There are 11–13 genera in the family, with 60–65 species (of which 20–30 are placed in the genus Charadrius and 24 in the genus Vanellus), found world-wide.
Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences.