FAMILY I. VULTURINAE. VULTURINE BIRDS, or VULTURES.
Bill of moderate length,
stout, cerate; upper mandible with the tip elongated and decurved; lower
mandible rounded and thin-edged at the end. Head rather small, or of
moderate size, ovato-oblong, and with part of the neck destitute of
feathers. Eyes of moderate size, without projecting rides. External
aperture of ears rather small and simple. Skin over the fore part of the
neck bare, or merely downy. Tarsus rather stout, bare, and shorter than
the middle toe; hind toe much smaller than the second; anterior toes
connected at the base by a web; claws large, moderately curved, rather
acute. Plumage full and rather compact. Wings very long, subacuminate.
OEsophagus excessively wide, and dilated into a crop; stomach rather
large, somewhat muscular, with a soft rugous epithelium; intestine of
moderate length and width; coeca extremely small. The young when fledged
have the head and upper part of the neck generally covered with down. Eggs