Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
FAMILY XXXII.--TETRAONINAE. GROUSE.
Bill short, stout, with the upper mandible convex, thin edged, without
notches, its tip thin edged, obtuse, the lower mandible with the dorsal line
slightly convex, the edges thin, the tip rounded. Head small, oblong; neck of
moderate length; body very bulky. Feet short, stout; tarsus partially or
entirely feathered; hind toe small, third long, lateral nearly equal, all
scutellate, anterior webbed at the base. Claws moderate or long, arched, rather
depressed, blunt. Plumage full and soft; feathers with the plumule much
developed. Wings rather short, convex, rounded. Tail various, of more than
twelve feathers. A bare coloured space on each side of the neck, usually
concealed by the feathers; but in some species capable of being distended so as
to protrude. A bare red membrane over the eye, more developed in the males.
Tongue triangular, pointed; oesophagus with an enormous crop; stomach a very
powerful gizzard, having the lateral muscles extremely developed, the epithelium
dense, with two concave grinding surfaces; the intenstine long and wide; coeca
excessively elongated, cylindrical, with internal longitudinal ridges. Nest on
the ground, rudely constructed. Eggs numerous, spotted. Young covered with