Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
GENUS I.--SITTA, Linn. NUTHATCH.
Bill rather long, or of moderate length, straight, conico-subulate, a
little compressed, rather obtuse; upper mandible with the dorsal outline very
slightly arched, the ridge rather narrow, the sides sloping, the edges sharp,
without notches, the tip rather blunt; lower mandible with the angle of moderate
length and narrow, the dorsal line ascending and very slightly convex, the sides
slightly convex, the tip narrow. Nostrils basal, round operculate, partially
concealed by the reversed bristly feathers. Head ovate; neck short; body short
Tarsi rather short, stout, compressed, with eight scutella; toes long, much
compressed; first very long, second much shorter than fourth; anterior toes
adherent at the base. Claws long, arched, much compressed, laterally grooved,
acute. Plumage very soft and blended. Small bristles at the base of the upper
mandible. Wings rather long, first quill extremely small, third and fourth
longest. Tail short, of twelve feathers broad, nearly even. Upper mandible
slightly concave, with three ridges; tongue slender, very thin, with the point
abrupt and terminated by strong bristles; oesophagus without dilatation; stomach
rather large, roundish, moderately muscular; intestine rather short and wide;
coeca very small.