Genus IV.--Rallus, Linn. Rail

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Birds of America

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


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Bill much longer than the head, slender, compressed, very slightly decurved, high at the base; upper mandible with the dorsal line almost straight, until towards the end, where it is slightly curved, the ridge a little flattened at the base, and extending slightly on the forehead, convex toward the end, nasal sinus forming a groove extending to two-thirds, the sides nearly erect, the edges slightly inflected, the notches very slight, the tip rather obtuse; lower mandible with the angle very long and extremely narrow, the dorsal line almost straight, the sides erect and a little convex, the edges involute, the tip narrowed but obtuse. Nostrils lateral, sub-basal, linear. Head small, oblong, much compressed; neck long and slender; body slender, much compressed. Feet long; tibia bare below; tarsus rather long, stout, compressed anteriorly, covered with broad scutella; hind toe very small and tender, fourth little longer than second, anterior toes very long, scutellate, compressed. Claws of moderate length, arched, slender, much compressed, acute. Plumage rather stiff; feathers of the forehead with the shaft enlarged, and extended beyond the tip. Wings very short and broad; third quill longest. Tail very short, much rounded, of twelve feeble rounded feathers., scarcely longer than the coverts.

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