Genus I.--Phoenicopterus, Linn. Flamingo

The definitive website on wildbirds & nature

Birds of America

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


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Bill more than double the length of the head, straight and higher than broad for half its length, then deflected, and tapering to an obtuse point; upper mandible with its dorsal line at first straight, then convex, and again straight nearly to the end, when it becomes convex at the tip, the ridge broad and concave, on the deflected part expanded into a lanceolate plate, having a shallow groove in the middle, arid separated from the edges by a narrow groove, its extremity narrow and thin edged, but obtuse, this part being analogous to the unguis of Ducks; lower mandible narrower than the upper at its base, but much broader in the rest of its extent; its angle rather long, wide, and filled with bare skin; its dorsal line concave, but at the tip convex, the ridge deeply depressed, there being a wide channel in its place, the sides nearly erect and a little convex, with six ridges on each side toward the tip. Both mandibles internally lamellate, the edge of the lower much incurved. Nostrils linear, direct, and sub-basal, operculate. Head small, ovate; neck extremely elongated, and very slender; body slender; legs extremely long; tibia bare for more than half its length, and with the long tarsus anteriorly scutellate; hind toe very small and elevated; anterior toes connected by emarginate webs, scutellate above, tesselate beneath. Claws oblong, obtuse, depressed. Space between the bill and the eye bare; plumage compact; wings long, very broad, pointed; second quill longest; some of the secondaries extremely elongated, so as to extend far beyond the primaries when the wing is closed. Tail very short. Tongue confined by the lower mandible, fleshy, compressed, decurved, with recurved conical papillae; oesophagus extremely narrow, but at the lower part of the neck enlarged into a crop; proventriculus elliptical; stomach a very muscular, transversely elliptical gizzard, exactly resembling that of a Goose or Duck, with the epithelium dense, and longitudinally sulcate; intestine very long, and of considerable width; coeca rather long; cloaca globular.

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