Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
GENUS IV.--HAEMATOPUS. OYSTER-CATCHER.
Bill long, slender, straight, or slightly recurvate, higher than broad at
the base, extremely compressed toward the end; upper mandible with the dorsal
line straight and slightly sloping at the base, somewhat convex beyond the
nostrils, then straight and sloping to the point, the ridge broad and flattened
as far as the prominence, afterwards extremely narrow, the sides sloping at the
base, perpendicular towards the end, the edges rather sharp, the tip abrupt and
wedge-shaped; nasal groove long, bare; lower mandible with the angle of moderate
length, the dorsal line ascending and slightly convex, the sides erect, the
edges thin, the tip abrupt and wedged. Nostrils sub-basal, linear, near the
margin. Head of moderate size, ovate, the forehead rounded; neck of moderate
length; body compact. Feet of moderate length, rather stout; tibia bare for
about a fourth of its length; tarsus slightly compressed, covered all round with
hexagonal scales; toes of moderate length, stout, marginate, flat beneath,
webbed at the base, the outer considerably longer than the inner, the first
wanting. Claws rather small, arched, moderately compressed, obtuse. Plumage
generally blended, on the back compact. Wings long, pointed, the first quill
longest. Tail short, nearly even, of twelve feathers. Tongue short,
triangular, fleshy; OEsophagus dilated into a pretty large crop; stomach oblong,
muscular, with the epithelium dense and longitudinally rugous; intestine long
and rather slender; coeca long and nearly cylindrical; cloaca globular.