Sheathbill

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Sheathbills
Missing image
Black_faced_sheathbill.jpg



A Black-faced Sheathbill
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Charadriiformes
Family:Chionididae
Genus:Chionis
Forster, JR, 1788
Species

Chionis alba
Chionis minor

The sheathbills are the two species of birds in the genus Chionis in the Chionididae family. They are confined to Antarctic regions.

They have white plumage, with only the face and leg colours distinguishing the two species. They look plump and dove-like, but are believed to be similar to the ancestors of the modern gulls and terns.

They derive their English name from the horny sheath which partially covers the upper mandible of their stout bills.

The sheathbills are scavengers, but will take chicks and eggs as well as offal.

They lay 2 or 3 blotchy white eggs on the ground.

The two species are the Snowy Sheathbill (Chionis alba) and the Black-faced Sheathbill (C. minor).

Template:Bird-stub

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