Genus V.--Fuligula. Sea-Duck

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 or shorter, higher than broad at the base, depressed toward the end, the margins parallel, slightly dilated towards the end, which is rounded, the frontal angles rather pointed; upper mandible with the dorsal line generally declinate, but various at the base, being often prominent, the ridge broad at the base, narrowed at the middle, enlarged and convex at the end, the sides nearly erect at the base, gradually more declinate, the edges soft and internally lamellate, the unguis oblong and decurved; lower mandible flattened, being but slightly convex, with the angle very long and rather narrow, the dorsal line very short and straight, the edges internally lamellate, the unguis flat, obovato-elliptical. Nostrils sub-medial, linear-oblong, rather large, near the ridge, in an oblong depression covered with the soft membrane of the bill. Head rather large, compressed, convex above; neck of moderate length, rather thick; body full, depressed. Feet very short, strong, placed rather far behind; tarsus very short, compressed, anteriorly with narrow scutella continuous with those of the middle toe, and having another series commencing half-way down and continuous with those of the outer toe; hind toe small, with an inner expanded margin; middle toe nearly double the length of the tarsus, outer a little shorter, all scutellate. Claws small, compressed, that of the first toe very small and curved. Plumage dense, firm, blended. Wings shortish, narrow, pointed, first and second quills longest; inner secondaries elongated and tapering. Tail very short, rounded or cuneate, of fourteen or more feathers. OEsophagus rather wide, considerably dilated at the lower part of the neck; stomach an extremely muscular, roundish gizzard; intestine long and wide; coeca long. Trachea of the males with a transverse, bony, unsymmetrical dilatation at the inferior larynx.

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