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Genus I.--Mormon, Illiger. Puffin

Genus I.--Mormon, Illiger. Puffin

The definitive website on wildbirds & nature

Birds of America

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


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Bill about the length of the head, nearly as high as long, exceedingly compressed, at the base as high as the head, obliquely furrowed on the sides; upper mandible with a horny dotted rim along the basal margin; its dorsal line decurved from the base, the ridge narrow, at the base rounded, the sides rapidly sloped, with three or four curved oblique grooves, the edges sharp, their outline nearly straight, the tip deflected, very narrow, but obtuse; lower mandible with the angle very narrow, and so placed that the base of the bill is inflected beyond the perpendicular, the dorsal line a little convex at first, towards the end ascending, and nearly straight, the sides perpendicular, the edges sharp; the tip very narrow, obliquely truncate; gap-line extending downwards a little beyond the base of the bill, and furnished with a soft corrugated extensile membrane. Nostrils marginal, linear, direct, in the horny part of the bill. Head large, roundish-ovate; neck short and thick; body full and rounded. Feet short, rather stout, placed far behind; tibia bare for a short space; tarsus very short, little compressed, anteriorly with a series of small scutella; toes three, connected by entire webs, the outer and middle toes nearly equal. Claws strong, of moderate length, arched, acute, that of the inner toe much curved. Plumage close, blended, soft. Wings short, narrow, curved, acute; the first quill longest; secondaries short and rounded. Tail very short, slightly rounded, of sixteen feathers.

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