Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
FAMILY XXXI.--PERDICINAE. PARTRIDGES.
Bill very short, stout, broader than high at the base, with the upper
mandible convex, thin-edged, obtuse, the lower with the dorsal line convex, the
tip rounded. Head small, oblong; neck of moderate length, or rather short; body
very bulky. Feet rather of moderate length, stout; tarsus bare, anteriorly
scutellate; hind toe rather small, third long, lateral nearly equal, all
scutellate, anterior webbed at the base. Claws moderate, arched, compressed,
obtuse. Plumage full and strong; feathers with the plumule much developed.
Wings rather short, convex, rounded. Tail generally short and rounded, of more
than twelve feathers. Tongue triangular, pointed; oesophagus with a very large
crop; stomach a very strong muscular gizzard, with the lateral muscles highly
developed, the epithelium dense, with two concave grinding surfaces; intestine
long, and of moderate width; coeca very large, oblong, internally with
reticulate ridges. Trachea without inferior laryngeal muscles. Nest on the
ground, rudely constructed. Eggs numerous. Young covered with stiffish down.