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Genus XIII.--Loxia, Linn. Crossbill.

Genus XIII.--Loxia, Linn. Crossbill.

The definitive website on wildbirds & nature

Birds of America

By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.


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Bill rather long, stout at the base, where it is much higher than broad, extremely compressed toward the end, the mandibles towards their extremity deflected to opposite sides, so as to cross each other; upper mandible with the dorsal line convex and deflected, the sides slightly convex, the edges sharp, and towards the end united, the tip excessively compressed and decurved; lower mandible with its angle semicircular, the dorsal line ascending and convex, the edges sharp, inflected, and approximated at the tip, which is extremely acute. Nostrils small, basal, round, covered by the short bristly feathers. Head large, broadly ovate; neck short; body compact. Feet rather short and strong; tarsus short, compressed, with seven scutella; toes of moderate size, the first strong, the lateral nearly equal. Claws long, arched, very slender, much compressed, tapering to a fine point; that of the middle toe nearly as long as that of the first. Plumage soft, full, and blended. Two tufts of bristly feathers at the base of the upper mandible directed forwards. Wings of moderate length, pointed, the outer three primaries longest, the first generally exceeding the rest. Tail short, distinctly emarginate. Roof of the mouth concave, with three ridges, of which the median is much smaller; tongue deeper than broad, at the end oblong, obtuse, concave above, and horny; oesophagus dilated into a very large crop; stomach roundish, muscular, with the epithelium rugous; intestine of moderate length; coeca very small.

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