Family XVIII.--Corvinae. Crows

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Birds of America

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


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Bill about the length of the head, robust, nearly straight, compressed; upper mandible with the dorsal line more or less arched, its tip slightly deflected, the edges sharp, with a slight notch or sinus. Nostrils basal, roundish, concealed by reversed slender stiff feathers. Head rather large, ovate; neck of moderate length, body compact. Feet of ordinary length, rather stout; tarsus compressed, with about eight large scutella; toes four, first stronger, but about the same length as the second and fourth, which latter is adherent at the base. Claws rather large, arched, compressed, acute. Plumage various; wings long or of moderate length, much rounded, the first quill about half the length of the fourth or fifth, which are longest; tail of twelve broad feathers. Upper mandible concave, with several longitudinal ridges; tongue oblong, flat above, horny, thin edged, with the tip slit and lacerated; oesophagus of moderate width, without dilatation; proventriculus bulbiform; stomach, a gizzard of moderate power, with a rugous dense epithelium; intestine of moderate length and width; coeca small, cylindrical, adnate. Trachea with four pairs of inferior laryngeal muscles. Nest in high places, or in cavities, rudely constructed; eggs from four to six, ovate or oblong.

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