Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
GENUS I.--BOMBYCILLA, Briss. WAXWING.
Bill short, rather stout, straightish, broader than high at the base,
compressed towards the end; upper mandible with its dorsal line convex and
declinate towards the tip, which is deflected, narrow, and rather acute, its
sides convex, the edges sharp and overlapping, the notches distinct; lower
mandible with the angle short and wide, the dorsal line convex and ascending,
the edges sharp and inflected, the tip very small, acute, ascending, with a
small sinus behind; gap-line nearly straight. Nostrils oval, partially
concealed by the reversed stiffish feathers. Head of ordinary size, ovate; neck
short; body full. Feet rather short; tarsus short, rather stout, compressed,
with six scutella; toes of moderate size, first stout, broad beneath, outer
slightly adherent at the base; inner a little shorter. Claws rather long,
arched, much compressed, very acute. Plumage blended, very soft, somewhat
silky, but with little gloss; head tufted; no bristles. Wings rather long,
broad, and pointed, the first quill longest. Tail of moderate length, even.
This genus is remarkable for the oblong bright red horny appendages to the tips
of the wings and tall-feathers, which, however, are not seen in all the species.
Roof of upper mandible slightly concave, with three ridges; tongue triangular,
concave, horny, deep slit, with two slender points; oesophagus very wide, much
dilated about the middle; stomach rather small, elliptical, muscular; intestine
short and extremely wide; coeca very small.