GENUS IV.--Haematopus. Oyster-catcher

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Birds of America

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


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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.

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