Family XXXVI.--Scolopacinae. Snipes.

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Birds of America

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


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Bill longer than the head, subulate, slender, straight, or recurved, or decurved; upper mandible with the nasal groove very long, the edges flattened or rounded, the tip generally rather obtuse; lower mandible with the angle extremely long and narrow, the sides longitudinally grooved. Nostrils basal, linear, small. Head rather small, oblong, anteriorly rounded; neck of moderate length or long; body ovate, deep. Legs generally long, slender; tarsus long, compressed, scutellate; toes generally four, first small, sometimes wanting; anterior toes of moderate length, slender. Claws small, arched, compressed, rather acute. Wings long, pointed, with the first quill longest, and the inner secondaries tapering and much elongated; tail rather short, of twelve feathers. Tongue long, slender, trigonal, pointed; oesophagus of moderate width, stomach oblong or roundish, moderately muscular, with dense rugous epithelium; intestine long, of moderate width; coeca rather long, cylindrical, contracted at the base. Trachea flattened, with a single pair of inferior laryngeal muscles.

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