Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
GENUS I.--COLUMBA, Linn. DOVE.
Bill straight, rather short, slender, compressed; upper mandible with the
dorsal line straight at the base, convex toward the end, the nostrils linear,
oblique, covered with a fleshy bare membrane, the edges sharp toward the end,
with a distinct notch, the tip narrow, sharp-edged, rounded; lower mandible with
the angle long and pointed, the sides erect, the base sloping outwards toward
the end, the edges sharp, the tip narrow, but blunt. Head small, oblong,
compressed; neck of moderate length; body full. Feet short, strong; tarsus very
short, roundish, with a single row of scutella above, and two anterior rows of
large hexagonal scales; toes beneath rather slender, broad and flat beneath,
marginate, with large scutella; hind toe smallest, lateral about equal. Claws
of moderate size, arched, compressed, acute. Plumage rather compact above,
blended beneath; wings long, pointed, the second and third quills longest. Tail
of moderate length, rounded, of twelve broad rounded feathers.