Common loon Gavia immer, copyright Gary Irwin.

Belongs within: Neognathae.
Contains: Procellariiformes, Spheniscidae, Ciconiidae, Sulida, Fregata, Threskiornithidae, Ardeidae, Pelecanidae.

The Aequornithia are a clade of birds united by molecular phylogenetic analysis, commonly referred to as the ‘higher water-birds’. Most species are associated with aquatic habitats, from open ocean to terrestrial wetlands. Members of the clade include the Gaviiformes, divers or loons, a group of streamlined birds with the feet placed far back on the body, making them powerful swimmers but rather poor walkers.

<==Aequornithia [Natatores] JM14
|–Gaviidae [Colymbidae, Colymboididae, Eudytidae, Gaviiformes, Gaviimorphae, Urinatoridae] KF-V15
|    |–Gaviella pusilla (Shufeldt 1915) M09
|    |–Neogaeornis wetzeli Lambrecht 1929 C02, M09
|    |–Eupterornis Lemoine 1878 FP64, M02
|    |    `–*E. remensis Lemoine 1878 M02
|    |–Polarornis Chatterjee 2002 C02
|    |    `–*P. gregorii Chatterjee 2002 C02
|    |–Colymboides Milne-Edwards 1867 (see below for synonymy) M02
|    |    |–*C. minutus Milne-Edwards 1867 [incl. *Hydrornis natator Milne-Edwards 1867, *Dyspetornis natator] M02
|    |    |–C. anglicus Lydekker 1891 M05
|    |    |–C. belgicus Mayr & Smith 2002 M09
|    |    `–C. metzleri Mayr 2004 M05
    |    `–Gavia Forster 1788 M02 (see below for synonymy)
|         |  i. s.: ‘Colymbus’ capensis K08
|         |         G. concinna M02
|         |         ‘Colymbus’ dominicus S18
|         |           |–C. d. dominicus S18
|         |           `–C. d. brachyrhynchus S18
|         |         G. egeriana Švec 1982 M02
|         |         G. moldavica Kessler 1984 M02
|         |         G. paradoxa Umans’ka 1981 M02
|         |         G. portisi (Regàlia 1902) [=Colymbus portisi] M02
|         |         G. schultzi Mlíkovský 1998 M02
|         |–G. stellata (Pontoppidan 1763) JT12, CS77 [=Colymbus stellatus CS77]
|         `–+–G. arctica (Linnaeus 1758) JT12, CS77 [=Colymbus arcticus CS77]
|            |    |–G. a. arctica CS77
|            |    `–G. a. viridigularis Dwight 1918 CS77
|            `–+–G. pacifica (Lawrence 1858) JT12, CS77 [=G. arctica pacifica CS77]
|               `–+–*G. immer (Brünnich 1764) B94, JT12, B94 [=*Colymbus immer B94]
|                  `–G. adamsii (Gray 1859) JT12, CS77 [=Colymbus adamsii CS77]
`–+–Procellariimorphae JM14
|    |–Procellariiformes JM14
|    `–+–Spheniscidae JM14
|       `–Plotopteridae M04
|            |  i. s.: Hokkaidornis abashiriensis Sakurai et al. 2008 M09
|            |–Phocavis maritimus Goedert 1988 M09
|            `–+–Tonsala hildegardae Olson 1980 M09
|               `–Copepteryx Olson & Hasegawa 1996 M09, D07
|                    |–C. hexeris Olson & Hasegawa 1996 M09
|                    `–C. titan Olson & Hasegawa 1996 M09
`–Pelecanimorphae [Herodiones, Pelargi, Pelecanides, Steganograllatores, Steganopodes] PB15
|  i. s.: Novacaesareala hungerfordi Parris & Hope 2002 M09
|         Torotigidae FP64
|           |–Gallornis straeleni Lambrecht 1931 FP64, OF80
|           `–Torotix Brodkorb 1963 OF80
|                `–*T. clemensi Brodkorb 1963 OF80
|–Ciconiidae JT12
`–+–Suliformes JT12
|    |–Sulida JM14
|    `–Fregatidae M09
|         |–Fregata JT12
|         `–Limnofregata M09
|              |–L. azygosternon Olson 1977 M09
|              `–L. hasegawai Olson & Matsuoka 2005 M09
`–Pelecaniformes KF-V21
|–Threskiornithidae JM14
`–+–Ardeiformes U93
|   |–Ardeidae JM14
|   `–Xenerodiops [Xenerodiopidae] U93
|        `–X. mycter Rasmussen et al. 1987 M09
`–+–Pelecanidae KF-V21
`–+–Scopus Brisson 1760 KF-V21, B94 [Scopi, Scopidae, Scopoidea]
|    |–S. umbretta JT12
|    `–S. xenopus Olson 1984 B93
`–Balaenicipitidae [Balaenicipites, Balaenicipitiformes] KF-V21
|–Goliathia andrewsi Lambrecht 1930 M09
`–Balaeniceps Gould 1850 PB15, B94
`–B. rex JT12

Colymboides Milne-Edwards 1867 [incl. Dyspetornis Oberholser 1905, Hydrornis Milne-Edwards 1867 non Blyth 1843] M02

Gavia Forster 1788 M02 [=Colymbus Linnaeus 1758 (nom. rej.) B94; incl. Eudytes Illiger 1811 B94, Mergus Brisson 1860 non Linnaeus 1758 B94, Urinator Lacépède 1799 B94]

*Type species of generic name indicated


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