Family XXX.--Pavoninae. Pavonine Birds

The definitive website on wildbirds & nature

Birds of America

By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.


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Bill rather short, moderately stout, broader than high at the base, somewhat compressed toward the end; upper mandible with its extremity arched, thin-edged, and obtuse; lower narrowed and blunt. Head partially denuded, rather small, oblong; neck long; body very large. Feet stout, rather long; tarsus anteriorly scutellate; hind toe elevated, anterior toes webbed at the base. Claws rather denuded, obtuse. Plumage full, the feathers with a very large plumule and short tube; those of the hind part of the back much developed. Wings of moderate length, convex, rounded. Tail very large, of more than twelve feathers. Tongue triangular, pointed; oesophagus dilated into an enormous crop; stomach a very powerful gizzard, roundish, or transversely elliptical, with very large muscles, and dense epithelium, having two concave grinding surfaces; intestines long, and rather wide; coeca very large, oblong, internally with elevated reticulated ridges. Trachea cylindrical, without inferior laryngeal muscles. Nest on the ground, rudely constructed. Eggs numerous. Young covered with stiffish down.

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