Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class VoltRankDb in /home/shopth11/public_html/ on line 27

Strict Standards: Redefining already defined constructor for class VoltRank in /home/shopth11/public_html/ on line 714
Curled-crested Phaleris

Curled-crested Phaleris

The definitive website on wildbirds & nature

Birds of America

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


Back TOC Forward


[Crested Auklet.]

[Aethia cristatella.]


My drawing of this singular bird, which belongs to the north-west coast, was taken from a specimen in the Museum of the Zoological Society. Since then I procured one for description, from Mr. LEADBEATER.

ALCA CRISTATELLA, Gmel. Syst. Nat., vol. i. p. 552.

CURLED-CRESTED PHALERIS, Phaleris cristatella, Aud. Orn. Biog., vol. v. p, 102.

Adult, 10, wing, 6 3/4.

North-west coast of America.

Bill shorter than the head, stout, straightish, broad at the base, compressed toward the end. Upper mandible with a prominent basal rim as in the Puffins, its dorsal outline convex and declinate, the sides sloping, a prominent line descending from the base of the ridge to the anterior part of the nostril, which is linear-oblong, and near the margin, besides which there are several faint grooves; at the base is a somewhat triangular horny plate detached from the rest of the mandible, of which latter the margin is very convex behind the nostrils, then ascends, forms a slight festoon before them, and finally a deep sinus behind the decurved, narrow, but rather obtuse tip. Lower mandible with the angle rather long and wide, the dorsal line ascending and a little convex, the sides sloping outwards, a ridge passing obliquely from behind the angle to near the tip, the edge sinuate in correspondence with that of the upper, the tip truncate.

Body full and compact; neck short and thick; head rather large, ovate. Feet short, placed far behind; tibia bare for a quarter of an inch; tarsus very short, much compressed, anteriorly with small oblique scutella, the rest reticulate; hind toe wanting; anterior toes scutellate, connected by emarginate webs; the inner toe much shorter than the outer, which is of the same length as the middle, claws rather stout, moderately arched, compressed, rather obtuse; on the anterior part of the forehead is a tuft of about twenty linear recurved feathers, of which the longest measures 2 1/2 inches.

Plumage dense, blended, glossy. Wings of moderate length, narrow, pointed; primaries incurved, tapering, the first longest, the rest rapidly graduated; secondaries rounded. Tail very short, rounded, of fourteen rounded feathers.

Bill orange; feet greyish-blue. The general colour of the upper parts is brownish-black, of the lower deep purplish-grey. There is a short line of elongated linear acuminate white feathers, commencing under the eye, and proceeding along the side of the neck.

Length to end of tail 10 inches; bill along the ridge 7/12, along the edge of lower mandible 1; wing from flexure 6 9/12; tail 1 7/12; tarsus 1 1/12; inner toe 11/12, its claw (3 1/2)/12; middle toe 1 (4 1/2)/12, its claw 4/12; outer toe 1 7/12, its claw 3/12.

Back TOC Forward

Save Our Forests