Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
GENUS III.--ORTYGOMETRA, Leach. CRAKE-GALLINULE.
Bill shorter than the head, rather stout, deep, compressed, tapering; upper
mandible with the dorsal line nearly straight, being slightly convex toward the
end, the ridge flattish for a short space at the base, very slightly extended on
the forehead, narrow in the rest of its extent, the sides nearly erect, the
edges sharp, with a slight sinus close to the rather obtuse tip; nasal groove
broad and extending to two-thirds; lower mandible with the angle long and
narrow, the dorsal line ascending, nearly straight, the sides erect, the tip
narrowed. Nostrils linear, lateral, submedial. Head rather small, oblong,
compressed; neck of moderate length; body rather slender, much compressed. Feet
of moderate length, rather stout; tibia bare below; tarsus of ordinary length,
compressed, with broad anterior scutella; hind toe short and slender, anterior
toes very long, compressed, scutella, the outer slightly longer than the inner.
Claws of moderate length, slender, extremely compressed, tapering to a fine
point. Plumage rather stiff, but blended; feathers of the forehead with the
shaft enlarged. Wings short and broad, somewhat convex, the second quill
longest. Tail extremely short, much rounded, of twelve weak feathers.
Digestive organs as in Gallinula.