Birds of America
By John James Audubon, F. R. SS. L. & E.
GENUS IV.--MERGULUS, Ray. SEA-DOVE.
Bill shorter than the head, stout, nearly straight, sub-pentagonal at the
base, compressed towards the end; upper mandible with the dorsal line
convexo-declinate, the ridge convex, the sides sloping, the edges sharp and
overlapping, the tip rather obtuse; nasal depression short and broad; nostrils
basal, oblong; lower mandible with the angle long and wide, the dorsal line
ascending, straight, the sides convex, toward the end ascending and flattened,
the edges sharp and inclinate, the tip acute, with a sinus behind. Head large,
ovate; neck short and thick; body full and compact. Feet short, rather stout;
tibia bare for a very short space; tarsus very short, compressed, anteriorly
covered with oblique scutella; hind toe wanting; anterior toes connected by
entire webs, the third and fourth nearly equal. Claws rather small, moderately
arched, compressed, rather acute. Plumage dense, glossy, blended. Wings of
moderate length, narrow, pointed; the first quill longest, secondaries rounded.
Tail very short, slightly rounded, of twelve feathers.