Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
GENUS V.--PANDION, Sav. OSPREY.
Bill short, as broad as deep at the base, the sides convex, the dorsal
outline straight at the base, decurved towards the end; upper mandible with a
festoon on the edges at the curvature, the tip trigonal, very acute; lower
mandible with the edges slightly arched, the tip obtusely truncate. Nostrils
oval, oblique, large, half way between the ridge and the cere. Legs rather
long; tarsus very short, remarkably thick, covered all round with hexagonal
scales; toes also remarkably thick, the outer versatile larger than the inner,
all scutellate only towards the end, and covered beneath with prominent,
conical, acuminate scales; claws long, curved, convex beneath, tapering to a
fine point. Plumage compact, imbricated; feathers of the head and neck narrow,
acuminate; of the tarsus short and very narrow, without the elongated external
tufts seen in all the other genera. Tail rather long, a little rounded.
Intestine extremely long and slender, its greatest width 2 1/4 twelfths, the
smallest 1/2 twelfth.