Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
GENUS XIII.--LOXIA, Linn. CROSSBILL.
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.