Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
GENUS I.--COCCYZUS, Vieill. AMERICAN CUCKOO.
Bill of moderate length, rather slender, somewhat arched, much compressed,
acute; upper mandible with the dorsal line arched, the ridge rounded, the sides
erect toward the end, the edges thin, direct, the tip narrow, decurved; lower
mandible with the angle of moderate length, rather wider, the dorsal line
decurved toward the end, the sides nearly erect, the edges decurved, the tip
narrow; the nostrils small, oblong, operculate. Eyelids bare, except at the
margin. Head rather small; neck of moderate length; body slender. Feet rather
short; tarsus compressed, rather stout, with seven very broad scutella; toes
slender, compressed, anterior united at the base, first small. Claws moderate,
arched, compressed, laterally grooved, acute. Plumage soft and blended,
somewhat compact on the back. Wings of moderate length, with the first quill
very short, the third and fourth longest. Tail very long, cuneate or graduated.