Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
GENUS II.--PHALAROPUS, Briss. PHALAROPE.
Bill scarcely longer than the head, straight, slender, at the base somewhat
cylindrical, toward the end broader and flattened, the tips narrowed; upper
mandible with the dorsal line straight, excepting at the end, where it is a
little decurved, the ridge convex, flattened at the broad part, the sides
slightly sloping, the edges rounded, and near the tip inflected; nasal groove
linear, extending to near the tip; lower mandible with the angle very long and
narrow, the sides convex and sloping outwards, the tip narrowed. Nostrils
basal, linear-elliptical. Head small, with the fore part high and rounded; neck
of moderate length; body rather full. Feet rather short, slender; tibia bare a
short way above the joint; tarsus much compressed, narrowed before and behind,
covered anteriorly with numerous scutella; toes very slender, first extremely
small, free, with a slight membrane beneath; second shorter than the fourth;
third toe much longer, all scutellate above, the anterior margined on both sides
with lobed and pectinated membranes, which are united at the base, so as to
render the foot nearly half-webbed, the outer web much longer than the inner.
Claws very small, compressed, arched, obtuse. Plumage soft and blended; wings
long and pointed, first quill longest, secondary quills rather short, the inner
much elongated. Tail of moderate length, much rounded, of twelve feathers, the
lower tail-coverts as long.