Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
GENUS VI.--SCOLOPAX, Linn. SNIPE.
Bill twice as long as the head; subulate, straight, compressed for half its
length, depressed toward the end; upper mandible with the dorsal line declinate
at the base, then straight, at the end slightly arched, that part being
considerably enlarged, the ridge convex, towards the end flattened, the sides
with a narrow groove extending to near the tip, the edges soft and obtuse or
flattened, the tip narrowed, but blunt; lower mandible with the angle extremely
long and narrow, the sides erect, with a longitudinal groove, the edges
flattened, and directly meeting those of the upper mandible, the extremity
enlarged, the tip contracted and rather blunt. Nostrils basal, linear, very
small. Head rather small, oblong, the forehead elevated and rounded; neck
rather short; body rather full. Legs of moderate length, slender; tibia bare
below; tarsus scutellate before and behind; toes very slender, free, scutellate;
first toe very small and elevated, lateral toes nearly equal, the outer
connected with the third by a basal web. Claws small, slightly arched,
compressed, rather acute. Plumage very soft, rather dense. Wings long, narrow,
pointed; the first quill longest; inner secondaries much elongated. Tail
moderate, nearly even.