Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
GENUS I.--MORMON, Illiger. PUFFIN.
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.