Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
GENUS III.--NIPHAEA, Aud. SNOW-BIRD.
Bill short, rather small, conical, acute; upper mandible a little broader
than the lower, its dorsal line straight, slightly declinate at the tip, the
sides convex, the edges nearly straight, slightly inflected, but overlapping;
lower mandible with the angle short and rounded, the dorsal line straight, the
sides convex, the edges a little inflected, the tip acute. Nostrils basal,
roundish, concealed by the feathers. Head broadly ovate; neck short; body full.
Feet of moderate length; tarsus rather short, stout, with seven scutella; toes
rather strong, the first stout, the lateral equal. Claws rather long, arched,
compressed, laterally grooved, tapering to a fine point. Plumage very soft and
blended. Wings rather short, curved, rounded; second, third, and fourth quills
longest, first longer than fifth. Tail rather long, slightly emarginate. Roof
of upper mandible concave, with thin ridges, and a small knob at the base;
tongue narrow, deep, grooved above, tapering to a horny point; oesophagus
dilated about the middle; stomach rather small, roundish, muscular; intestine
rather short; coeca very small. Name from [Niphos], snow.