Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
GENUS V.--ARAMUS, Vieill. COURLAN.
Bill long, being double the length of the head, rather slender, but strong,
much compressed, straight, its breadth less before the nostrils than towards the
point; upper mandible with the dorsal line straight until towards the end, then
slightly arcuato-declinate, the ride convex in its whole length, the sides
nearly erect, more convex toward the extremity, the tip blunted, the edges broad
and obtuse for half their length, sharp but thick in the rest of their extent;
lower mandible slightly ascending at the base, then direct, much compressed
toward the tip, which is acute, the angle long and very narrow, the dorsal line
slightly convex, the edges obtuse, becoming sharp towards the end; nasal groove
nearly half the length of the bill. Nostrils direct, linear, long. Head rather
small, oblong, compressed; neck long and slender; body ovato-oblong, much
compressed. Feet very long, rather stout; tibia bare in its lower half; tarsus
long, compressed, anteriorly broadly scutellate; toes long, rather slender; hind
toe small; fourth considerably longer than second; anterior toes divided to the
base, scutellate. Claws of moderate length, very slightly arched, compressed,
tapering to a point. Plumage rather compact above, blended beneath. Wings of
moderate length, very broad, concave, rounded; first short, falciform, with the
inner web broader toward the end; fourth quill longest; inner secondaries much
elongated. Tail short, broad, convex, rounded, of twelve broad rounded
feathers. Digestive organs as in the Rails and Gallinules.