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Alan C. Kemp, PhD
Class Aves Order Coraciiformes Suborder Alcidines Family Alcedinidae
Small to medium-sized birds with a large head, long pointed bill, compact body, short neck, and small weak feet; plumage often black, white, or reddish, with areas of iridescent blue or green; bill and feet often black or bright red, orange, or yellow when adult; iris usually dark brown; flight fast and direct on rounded wings with short tail, but central tail feathers elongated in some species
Number of genera, species
14 genera; 91 species
Wide range of wooded or aquatic habitats, from arid savanna to dense rainforest or from sea coast to high mountain streams
Endangered: 1 species; Vulnerable: 11 species; Near Threatened: 12 species. Most populations face local threats to their habitat from logging of tropical forests, pollution of waterways, and development of oceanic islands
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