Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
GENUS X.--NUMENIUS, Briss. CURLEW.
Bill very long, slender, sub-cylindrical, slightly compressed, more or less
arcuate or decurved; upper mandible with the ridge broad and flattened at the
base, broad and rounded in the rest of its extent, a deep groove running from
the nostrils to near the tip, which is decurved, enlarged so as to form an
oblong obtuse knob, projecting beyond the point of the lower mandible, the edges
rounded; lower mandible similar in its curvature to the upper, its angle
extremely narrow, and extending to near the middle, the ridge rounded, the sides
with a shallow groove to near the end, the edges directly meeting those of the
upper, the tip obtuse. Head rather small, oblong, compressed; neck long; body
compact. Feet long; tibia bare below; tarsus scaly above, scutellate for
two-thirds; toes rather small, scutellate, first very small, lateral nearly
equal. Claws small, compressed, blunted. Wings long, very acute, the first
quill longest, some of the inner secondaries greatly elongated. Tail short,
much rounded, of twelve rounded feathers.