Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
GENUS II.--PICA, Briss. MAGPIE.
Bill of moderate length, stout, considerably compressed; upper mandible
with the dorsal line declinate and arched, the sides convex, the ridge narrow,
the edges nearly straight and overlapping, the notches faint, the tip declinate,
and rather sharp; lower mandible with the angle rather long and wide, the dorsal
line ascending and slightly convex, the edges inclinate, the tip narrow.
Nostrils basal, lateral, roundish, covered by narrow stiff feathers directed
forwards. Head large, ovate; neck rather short; body compact. Legs of moderate
length, strong; tarsus stout, compressed, with eight scutella; toes of moderate
length, stout, first large, stronger; lateral nearly equal, third considerably
longer. Claws strong, arched, compressed, acute. Plumage full, soft, blended.
Wings of moderate length, much rounded, the first quill very short, extremely
narrow and falciform, fourth and fifth longest. Tail very long, graduated.
Digestive organs as in Corvus.