Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
THE EIDER DUCK.
FULIGULA MOLLISSIMA, Linn.
PLATE CCCCV.--MALES AND FEMALE.
The history of this remarkable Duck must ever be looked upon with great
interest by the student of nature. The depressed form of its body, the singular
shape of its bill, the beautiful colouring of its plumage, the value of its down
as an article of commerce, and the nature of its haunts, render it a very
remarkable species. Considering it as such, I shall endeavour to lay before you
as full an account of it as I have been able to obtain from my own observation.
The fact that the Eider Duck breeds on our eastern coasts, must be
interesting to the American ornithologist, whose fauna possesses but few birds
of this family that do so. The Fuligulae are distinguished from all other Ducks
that feed in fresh or salt water, by the comparative shortness of the neck, the
greater expansion of their feet, the more depressed form of their body, and
their power of diving to a considerable depth, in order to reach the beds on
which their favourite shelly food abounds. Their flight, too, differs from that
of the true Ducks, inasmuch as it is performed nearer the surface of the water.
Rarely, indeed, do the Fuligulae fly at any considerable height over that
element, and with the exception of three species, they are rarely met with
inland, unless when driven thither by storms. They differ, more-over, in their
propensity to breed in communities, and often at a very small distance from each
other. Lastly, they are in general more ready to abandon their females, the
moment incubation has commenced. Thus the female is left in a state of double
responsibility, which she meets, however, with a courage equal to the occasion,
although alone and unprotected.
The Eider is now seldom seen farther south along our eastern coast than the
vicinity of New York. WILSON says they are occasionally observed as far as the
Capes of Delaware; but at the present day this must be an extremely rare
occurrence, for the fishermen of the Jerseys informed me that they knew nothing
of this Duck. In WILSON'S time, however, it bred in considerable numbers, from
Boston to the Bay of Fundy, and it is still to be met with on the rocky shores
and islands between these points. Farther to the eastward they become more and
more plentiful, until you reach Labrador, to which thousands of pairs annually
resort, to breed and spend the short summer. Many, however, proceed much
farther north; but, as usual, I will here confine myself to my own observations.
In the latter part of October 1832, the Eiders were seen in considerable
numbers in the Bay of Boston. A large bagful of them was brought to me by a
fisherman-gunner in my employ, a person advanced in years, formerly a brave tar,
and one whom I feel some pride in telling you I assisted in obtaining a small
pension from our government, being supported in my application by two of my
Boston friends, the one the generous GEORGE PARKMAN, M. D., the other that great
statesman JOHN QUINCY ADAMS. The old man had once served under my father, and
to receive a bagful of Eider Ducks from him was a gratification which you may
more easily conceive than I can describe. Well, there were the Ducks, all
turned out on the floor; young males still resembling their mother, others of
more advanced age, and several males and females complete in all their parts,
only that the bills of the former had lost the orange tint, which that part
exhibits during a few weeks of the breeding season. Twenty-one there were in
all, and they had been killed in a single day by the veteran and his son. Those
masterly gunners told me, that to procure this species, they were in the habit
of anchoring their small vessel about fifty yards off the rocky isles round
which these birds harbour and feed at this season. There, while the birds were
passing on wing, although usually in long lines, they could now and then kill
two of them at a shot. Sometimes the King Eider was also procured under similar
circumstances, as the two species are wont to associate together during winter.
At Boston the Eiders sold that winter at from fifty to seventy-five cents the
pair, and they are much sought after by epicures.
On the 31st of May, 1833, my son and party killed six Eiders on the island
of Grand Manan, off the Bay of Fundy, where the birds were seen in considerable
numbers, and were just beginning to breed. A nest containing two eggs, but not
a particle of down, was found at a distance of more than fifty yards from the
Immediately after landing on the coast of Labrador, on the 18th of June in
the same year, we saw a great number of "Sea Ducks," as the gunners and
fishermen on that coast, as well as on our own, call the Eiders and some other
species. On visiting an island in "Partridge Bay," we procured several females.
The birds there paid little attention to us, and some allowed us to approach
within a few feet before they left their nests, which were so numerous that a
small boat-load might have been collected, had the party been inclined. They
were all placed amid the short grass growing in the fissures of the rock, and
therefore in rows, as it were. The eggs were generally five or six, in several
instances eight, and in one ten. Not a male bird was to be seen. At the first
discharge of the guns, all the sitting birds flew off and alighted in the sea,
at a distance of about a hundred yards. They then collected, splashed up the
water, and washed themselves, until the boat left the place. Many of the nests
were unprovided with down; some had more or less than others, and some, from
which the female was absent when the party landed, were quite covered with it,
and the eggs felt warm to the hand. The musquitoes and flies were there as
abundant and as tormenting as in any of the Florida swamps.
On the 24th of the same month, two male Eiders, much advanced in the moult,
were shot out of a flock all composed of individuals of the same sex. While
rambling over the moss-covered shores of a small pond, on the 7th of July, we
saw two females with their young on the water. As we approached the edges, the
old birds lowered their heads and swam off with those parts lying flat on the
surface, while the young followed so close as almost to touch them. On firing
at them without shot, they all dived at once, but rose again in a moment, the
mothers quacking and murmuring. The young dived again, and we saw no more of
them; the old birds took to wing, and, flying over the hills, made for the sea,
from which we were fully a mile distant. How their young were to reach it was
at that time to me a riddle; but was afterwards rendered intelligible, as you
will see in the sequel. On the 9th of July, while taking an evening walk, I saw
flocks of female Eiders without broods. They were in deep moult, kept close to
the shore in a bay, and were probably sterile birds. On my way back to the
vessel, the captain and I started a female from a broad flat rock, more than a
hundred yards from the water, and, on reaching the spot, we found her nest,
which was placed on the bare surface, without a blade of grass within five yards
of it. It was of the usual bulky construction, and contained five eggs, deeply
buried in down. She flew round us until we retired, when we had the pleasure to
see her alight, walk to her nest, and compose herself upon it.
Large flocks of males kept apart, and frequented the distant sea islands at
this period, when scarcely any were able to fly to any distance, although they
swam about from one island to another with great ease. Before their moulting
had commenced, or fully a month earlier, these male birds, we observed, flew in
long lines from place to place around the outermost islands every morning and
evening, thus securing themselves from their enemies, and roosted in numbers
close together on some particular rock difficult to be approached by boats,
where they remained during the short night. By the 1st of August scarcely an
Eider Duck was to be seen on the coast of Labrador. The young were then able to
fly, the old birds had nearly completed their moult, and all were moving
Having now afforded you some idea of the migrations and general habits of
this interesting bird from spring to the close of the short summer of the
desolate regions of Labrador, I proceed, with my journals before me, and my
memory refreshed by reading my notes, to furnish you with such details as may
perhaps induce you to study its habits in other parts of the world.
The Eider Duck generally arrives on the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador
about the 1st of May, nearly a fortnight before the waters of the Gulf of St.
Lawrence are freed from ice. None are seen there during winter, and their first
appearance is looked upon with pleasure by the few residents as an assurance of
the commencement of the summer season. At this period they are seen passing in
long files not many feet above the ice or the surface of the water, along the
main shores, and around the inner bays or islands, as if in search of the places
where they had formerly nestled, or where they had been hatched. All the birds
appear to be paired, and in perfect plumage. After a few days, during which
they rest themselves on the shores fronting the south, most of them remove to
the islands that border the coast, at distances varying from half a mile to five
or six miles. The rest seek for places in which to form their nests, along the
craggy shores, or by the borders of the stunted fir woods not far from the
water, a few proceeding as far as about a mile into the interior. They are now
seen only in pairs, and they soon form their nests. I have never had an
opportunity of observing their courtships, nor have I received any account of
them worthy of particular notice.
In Labrador, the Eider Ducks begin to form their nests about the last week
of May. Some resort to islands scantily furnished with grass, near the tufts of
which they construct their nests; others form them beneath the spreading boughs
of the stunted firs, and in such places, five, six, or even eight are sometimes
found beneath a single bush. Many are placed on the sheltered shelvings of
rocks a few feet above high-water mark, but none at any considerable elevation,
at least none of my party, including the sailors, found any in such a position.
The nest, which is sunk as much as possible into the ground, is formed of
sea-weeds, mosses, and dried twigs, so matted and interlaced as to give an
appearance of neatness to the central cavity, which rarely exceeds seven inches
in diameter. In the beginning of June the eggs are deposited, the male
attending upon the female the whole time. The eggs, which are regularly placed
on the moss and weeds of the nest, without any down, are generally from five to
seven, three inches in length, two inches and one-eighth in breadth, being thus
much larger than those of the domestic Duck, of a regular oval form,
smooth-shelled, and of a uniform pale olive-green. I may here mention, by the
way, that they afford delicious eating. I have not been able to ascertain the
precise period of incubation. If the female is not disturbed, or her eggs
removed or destroyed, she lays only one set in the season, and as soon as she
begins to sit the male leaves her. When the full complement of eggs has been
laid, she begins to pluck some down from the lower parts of her body; this
operation is daily continued for some time, until the roots of the feathers, as
far forward as she can reach, are quite bare, and as clean as a wood from which
the undergrowth has been cleared away. This down she disposes beneath and
around the eggs. When she leaves the nest to go in search of food, she places
it over the eggs, and in this manner, it may be presumed to keep up their
warmth, although it does not always ensure their safety, for the Black-backed
Gall is apt to remove the covering, and suck or otherwise destroy the eggs.
No sooner are the young hatched than they are led to the water, even when
it is a mile distant, and the travelling difficult, both for the parent bird and
her brood; but when it happens that the nest has been placed among rocks over
the water, the Eider, like the Wood Duck, carries the young in her bill to their
favourite element. I felt very anxious to find a nest placed over a soft bed of
moss or other plants, to see, whether, like the Wood Duck on such occasions, the
Eider would suffer her young ones to fall from the nest; but unfortunately I had
no opportunity of observing, a case of this kind. The care which the mother
takes of her young for two or three weeks, cannot be exceeded. She leads them
gently in a close flock in shallow waters, where, by diving, they procure food,
and at times, when the young are fatigued, and at some distance from the shore,
she sinks her body in the water, and receives them on her back, where they
remain several minutes. At the approach of their merciless enemy, the
Black-backed Gull, the mother beats the water with her wings, as if intending to
raise the spray around her, and on her uttering a peculiar sound, the young dive
in all directions, while she endeavours to entice the marauder to follow her, by
feigning lameness, or she leaps out of the water and attacks her enemy, often so
vigorously, that, exhausted and disappointed, he is glad to fly off, on which
she alights near the rocks, among which she expects to find her brood, and calls
them to her side. Now and then I saw two females which had formed an attachment
to each other, as if for the purpose of more effectually contributing to the
safety of their young, and it was very seldom that I saw these prudent mothers
assailed by the Gull.
The young, at the age of one week, are of a dark mouse-colour, thickly
covered with soft warm down. Their feet at this period are proportionally very
large and strong. By the 20th of July they seemed to be all hatched. They grew
rapidly, and when about a fortnight old were, with great difficulty, obtained,
unless during stormy weather, when they at times retired from the sea to shelter
themselves under the shelvings of the rocks at the head of shallow bays. It is
by no means difficult to rear them, provided proper care be taken of them, and
they soon become quite gentle and attached to the place set apart for them. A
fisherman of Eastport, who carried eight or ten of them from Labrador, kept them
several years in a yard close to the water of the bay, to which, after they were
grown, they daily betook themselves, along with some common Ducks, regularly
returning on shore towards evening. Several persons who had seen them, assured
me that they were as gentle as their associates, and although not so active on
land, were better swimmers, and moved more gracefully on the water. They were
kept until the male birds acquired their perfect plumage and mated; but some
gunners shot the greater number of them one winter day, having taken them for
wild birds, although none of them could fly, they having been pinioned. I have
no doubt that if this valuable bird were domesticated, it would prove a great
acquisition, both on account of its feathers and down, and its flesh as an
article of food. I am persuaded that very little attention would be necessary
to effect this object. When in captivity, it feeds on different kinds of grain
and moistened corn-meal, and its flesh becomes excellent. Indeed, the sterile
females which we procured at Labrador in considerable number, tasted as well as
the Mallard. The males were tougher and more fishy, so that we rarely ate of
them, although the fishermen and settlers paid no regard to sex in this matter.
When the female Eider is suddenly discovered on her nest, she takes to wing
at a single spring; but if she sees her enemy at some distance, she walks off a
few steps, and then flies away. If, unseen by a person coming near, as may
often happen, when the nest is placed under the boughs of the dwarf fir, she
will remain on it, although she may hear people talking. On such occasions my
party frequently discovered the nests by raising the pine branches, and were
often as much startled as the Ducks themselves could be, as the latter instantly
sprung past them on wing, uttering a harsh cry. Now and then some were seen to
alight on the ground within fifteen or twenty yards, and walk as if lame and
broken-winged, crawling slowly away, to entice their enemies to go in pursuit.
Generally, however, they would fly to the sea, and remain there in a large flock
until their unwelcome visiters departed. When pursued by a boat, with their
brood around them, they allowed us to come up to shooting distance, when,
feigning decrepitude, they would fly off, beating the water with partially
extended wings, while the young either dived or ran on the surface with
wonderful speed, for forty or fifty yards, then suddenly plunged, and seldom
appeared at the surface unless for a moment. The mothers always flew away as
soon as their brood dispersed, and then ended the chase. The cry or note of the
female is a hoarse rolling croak; that of the male I never heard.
Should the females be robbed of their eggs, they immediately go off in
search of mates, whether their previous ones or not I cannot tell, although I am
inclined to think so. However this may be, the duck in such a case soon meets
with a drake, and may be seen returning the same day with him to her nest. They
swim, fly, and walk side by side, and by the end of ten or twelve days the male
takes his leave, and rejoins his companions out at sea, while the female is
found sitting on a new set of eggs, seldom, however, exceeding four. But this
happens only at an early period of the season, for I observed that as soon as
the males had begun to moult, the females, whose nests had been plundered,
abandoned the place. One of the most remarkable circumstances connected with
these birds is, that the females with broods are fully three weeks later in
moulting than the males, whereas those which do not breed begin to moult as
early as they. This may probably seem strange, but I became quite satisfied of
the fact while at Labrador, where, from the number which we procured in a state
of change, and the vast quantities every now and then in sight, our
opportunities of observing these birds in a perfectly natural state were ample.
Some authors have said that the males keep watch near the females; but,
although this may be the case in countries such as Greenland and Iceland, where
the Eiders have been trained into a state of semi-domestication, it certainly
was not so in Labrador. Not a single male did we there see near the females
after incubation had commenced, unless in the case mentioned above, when the
latter had been deprived of their eggs. The males invariably kept aloof and in
large flocks, sometimes of a hundred or more individuals, remaining out at sea
over large banks with from seven to ten fathoms of water, and retiring at night
to insular rocks. It seemed very wonderful that in the long lines in which we
saw them travelling, we did not on any occasion discover among them a young
bird, or one not in its mature plumage. The young males, if they breed before
they acquire their full colouring, must either be by themselves at this period,
or with the barren females, which, as I have already said, separate from those
that are breeding. I am inclined to believe that the old males commence their
southward migration before the females or the young, as none were to be seen for
about a fortnight before the latter started. In winter, when these Ducks are
found on the Atlantic shores of the United States, the males and females are
intermingled; and at the approach of spring the mated pairs travel in great
flocks, though disposed in lines, when you can distinctly see individuals of
both sexes alternating.
The flight of the Eider is firm, strong, and generally steady. They propel
themselves by constant beats of the wings, undulating their lines according to
the inequality of surface produced by the waves, over which they pass at the
height of a few yards, and rarely more than a mile from the shores. Few fly
across the Gulf of St. Lawrence, as they prefer following the coasts of Nova
Scotia and Newfoundland, to the eastern entrance of the straits of Belle Isle,
beyond which many proceed farther north, while others ascend that channel and
settle for the season along the shores of Labrador, as far up as Partridge Bay,
and still farther up the St. Lawrence. Whilst on our waters, or at their
breeding grounds, the Eiders are not unfrequently seen flying much higher than
when travelling, but in that case they seem to be acting with the intention of
guarding against their enemy man. The velocity of their flight has been
ascertained to be about eighty miles in the hour.
This species dives with great agility, and can remain a considerable time
under water, often going down in search of food to the depth of eight or ten
fathoms, or even more. When wounded, however, they soon become fatigued in
consequence of the exertion used in diving, and may be overtaken by a
well-manned boat in the course of half an hour or so, as when fatigued they swim
just below the surface, and may be struck dead with an oar or a boat-hook.
Their food consists principally of shell-fish, the shells of which they
seem to have the power of breaking into pieces. In many individuals which I
opened, I found the entrails almost filled with small fragments of shells mixed
with other matter. Crustaceous animals and their roe, as well as that of
various fishes, I also found in their stomach, along with pebbles sometimes as
large as a hazel nut. The oesophagus, which is in form like a bag, and is of a
leathery firm consistence, was often found distended with food, and usually
emitted a very disagreeable fishy odour. The gizzard is extremely large and
muscular. The trachea of the young male, so long as it remains in its imperfect
plumage, or for the first twelve months, does not resemble that of the old male.
The males do not obtain their full plumage until the fourth winter. They at
first resemble the mother, then gradually become pie-bald, but not in less time
than between two and three years.
The Eider Duck takes a heavy shot, and is more easily killed on wing than
while swimming. When on shore they mark your approach while you are yet at a
good distance, and fly off before you come within shot. Sometimes you may
surprise them while swimming below high rocks, and, if you are expert, then
shoot them; but when they have first seen you, it is seldom that you can procure
them, as they dive with extreme agility. While at Great Macatina Harbour, we
discovered a large basin of water, communicating with the sea by a very narrow
passage about thirty yards across, and observed that at particular stages of the
tides the Eider Ducks entered and returned by it. By hiding ourselves on both
sides of this channel, we succeeded in killing a good number, but rarely more
than one at a shot, although sometimes we obtained from a single file as many as
we had of gun-barrels.
Excepting in a single nest, I found no down clean, it having been in every
other instance more or less mixed with small dry fir twigs and bits of grass.
When cleaned, the down of a nest rarely exceeds an ounce in weight, although,
from its great elasticity, it is so bulky as to fill a hat, or if properly
prepared even a larger space. The eggers of Labrador usually collect it in
considerable quantity, but at the same time make such havoc among the birds,
that at no very distant period the traffic must cease.
EIDER DUCK, Anas mollissima, Wils. Amer. Orn., vol. viii. p. 122.
FULIGULA MOLLISSIMA, Bonap. Syn., p. 389.
SOMATERA MOLLISSIMA, Eider, Swains. and Rich. F. Bor. Amer.,
vol. ii.p. 448.
EIDER DUCK, Nut t. Man., vol. ii. p. 406.
EIDER DUCK, Fuligula mollissima, Aud. Orn. Biog.,
vol. iii. p. 344; vol. v. p. 611.
Male, 25, 42. Female, 24, 39.
Breeds in Maine, on the Bay of Fundy, in Labrador, Newfoundland, as far
northward as travellers have proceeded. Common in winter from Nova Scotia to
Massachusetts; rarely seen in New York.
Bill about the length of the head, deeper than broad at the base, somewhat
depressed towards the end, which is broad and rounded. Upper mandible with a
soft tumid substance at the base, extending upon the forehead, and deeply
divided into two narrow rounded lobes, its whole surface marked with divergent
oblique lines, the dorsal outline nearly straight and sloping to beyond the
nostrils, then curved, the ridge broad at the base, broadly convex towards the
end, the edges perpendicular, obtuse, with about fifty small lamellae on the
inner side, the unguis very large, elliptical. Nostrils sub-medial, oblong,
large, pervious, nearer the ridge than the edge. Lower mandible flattened, with
the angle very long, rather narrow and rounded, the dorsal line short and
slightly convex, the edges with about sixty lamellae, the unguis very broad,
Head very large. Eyes of moderate size. Neck of moderate length, rather
slender at its upper part. Body bulky and much depressed. Wings rather small.
Feet very short, strong, placed rather far behind; tarsus very short,
compressed, anteriorly having a series of scutella in its whole length, and a
partial series above the fourth toe, the rest reticulated with angular scales.
Hind toe small, with a free membrane beneath; anterior toes double the length of
the tarsus, connected by reticulated membranes, having a sinus at their free
margins, the inner with a broad lobed marginal membrane, the outer with a
thickened edge; all obliquely scutellate above, the third and fourth about equal
and longest. Claws small, that of first toe very small and curved, of middle
toe largest, all rather depressed and blunt.
Plumage short, dense, soft, blended. Feathers on the fore part of the head
extremely small; on the upper part very narrow, on the occiput and upper and
lateral parts of the neck hair-like, stiff and glossy. Wings rather short,
narrow, pointed; primary quills curved, strong, tapering, the first longest, the
second scarcely shorter, the rest rapidly graduated; secondaries short, broad,
rounded, the inner elongated, tapering, and recurved. Tail very short, much
rounded, of sixteen narrow feathers.
Bill pale greyish-yellow, the unguis lighter, the soft tumid part pale
flesh-colour. Iris brown. Feet dingy light green, the webs dusky. Upper part
of the head bluish-black; the central part from the occiput to the middle white.
The hair-like feathers on the upper part and sides of the neck are of a delicate
pale green tint. The sides of the head, the throat, and the neck, are white,
the fore neck at its lower part of a fine colour intermediate between buff and
cream-colour. The rest of the lower surface is brownish-black, as are the upper
tail-coverts, and the central part of the rump. The rest of the back, the
scapulars, smaller wing-coverts, and inner curved secondary quills, white, the
scapulars tinged with yellow. Secondary coverts and outer secondaries
brownish-black; primaries and tail-coverts greyish-brown.
Length to end of tail 25 inches, to end of wings 21 1/2, to end of claws
27; extent of wings 42; wing from flexure 11 1/2; tail 4 1/4; bill from
extremity of tumid part 2 10/12, from its notch 2 2/12, along the edge of lower
mandible 2 10/12; tarsus 1 3/4; middle toe 2 10/12, its claw 7/12. Weight in
winter, 5 lbs. 5 1/2 oz.; in breeding time 4 lbs. 8 1/2 oz.
The female differs greatly from the male. The bill is shorter, its tumid
basal part much less and narrower. The feathers of the head and upper part of
the neck are very small, soft, and uniform; the scapulars and inner secondaries
are not elongated, as in the male. Bill pale greyish-green; iris and feet as in
the male. The head and neck all round light brownish-red, with small lines of
brownish-black. Lower part of neck all round, the whole upper surface, the
sides, and the lower tail-coverts of the same colours, but there the
brownish-black markings are broad. Secondary quills and larger coverts
greyish-brown, tipped with white, primaries brownish-black; tail-feathers
greyish-brown. Breast and abdomen greyish-brown, obscurely mottled.
Length to end of tail 24 inches, to end of wings 20 1/2, to end of claws
27; extent of wings 39; wing from flexure 11 1/4; tail 4; bill 3 7/12; tarsus
1 3/4; middle toe 2 7/12, its claw (5 1/2)/12. Weight in winter 4 lbs.
4 1/2 oz.; in breeding time 3 lbs. 12 oz.
The down of the female is light grey; that of the male on the white parts
is pure white, on the dark, greyish-white.
I have represented three of these birds in a state of irritation. A mated
pair, having a few eggs already laid, have been approached by a single male, and
are in the act of driving off the intruder, who, to facilitate his retreat, is
lashing his antagonists with his wings.
Adult Male, from Dr. T. M. BREWER. The roof of the mouth is broadly and
deeply concave; the posterior aperture of the nares linear, 10 twelfths long,
margined with two rows of very pointed papillae. Tongue 2 inches long, convex
above, with a large median groove, fleshy, very thick, with a semicircular
thin-edged horny tip; the breadth at the base 4 3/4 twelfths, at the tip 4
twelfths; the sides with two longitudinal series of bristles. The width of the
mouth is 1 inch 3 twelfths. The oesophagus is 10 1/2 inches long, for 4 1/2
inches, its width is 1 inch, it then enlarges so as to form what might be
considered as a kind of crop, 1 inch 7 twelfths in width; after this it
continues of the uniform diameter of 1 inch, but in the proventriculus,
[b c], enlarges to 1 1/4 inches. Its muscular walls are very thick, and the
external fibres conspicuous, the inner coat longitudinally plicate. The left
lobe of the liver is 2 inches 2 twelfths long, the right lobe 4 inches. The
gall-bladder elliptical, 1 inch 5 twelfths in length, 11 twelfths in breadth.
The stomach, [c d e f g h], is a gizzard of enormous size, placed obliquely,
transversely elliptical, its length 2 1/2 inches, its breadth 3 inches. The
proventricular glands are extremely numerous, and form a belt 2 inches in
breadth. The left muscle of the stomach, [d e], is 1 1/4 inches thick, the
right, [g h], 1 inch 2 twelfths; the epithelium very thick, and of a horny
texture, with two elliptical convex grinding plates, of which the right is 2
inches in length, the left 1 inch 7 twelfths. Intestine 74 inches long; the
width of the duodenum, [h i j], 1/2 inch, diminishing to 5 twelfths; the rectum,
Fig. 2, [a b], 7 twelfths in width; the coeca, [c c], 3 1/2 inches long, 4
inches distant from the extremity; their greatest width 4 1/2 twelfths, for an
inch at the base only 1 twelfth; the cloaca very slightly dilated, its breadth
being only 8 twelfths.
The trachea is 9 1/4 inches long, nearly of the uniform width of 5
twelfths, moderately flattened; the rings 130, well ossified, ending in a
transversely oblong dilatation, projecting more toward the left side, 1 inch in
breadth, 1/2 inch in length. Bronchial half rings 32, the bronchi very wide,
rings very narrow and cartilaginous. The contractor muscles are very large, and
expanded over the whole anterior surface. At the distance of 1 1/2 inches from
the tympanum they give off the cleido-tracheal muscles, and at the tympanum
itself the stern tracheal.