Family XV. FRINGILLINAE. FINCHES.
GENUS III. NIPHAEA, Aud. SNOW-BIRD
Bill short, rather small, conical, acute; upper mandible a little broader than the lower, its dorsal line straight, slightly declinate at the tip, the sides convex, the edges nearly straight, slightly inflected, but overlapping; lower mandible with the angle short and rounded, the dorsal line straight, the sides convex, the edges a little inflected, the tip acute. Nostrils basal, roundish, concealed by the feathers. Head broadly ovate; neck short; body full. Feet of moderate length; tarsus rather short, stout, with seven scutella; toes rather strong, the first stout, the lateral equal. Claws rather long, arched, compressed, laterally grooved, tapering to a fine point. Plumage very soft and blended. Wings rather short, curved, rounded; second, third, and fourth quills longest, first longer than fifth. Tail rather long, slightly emarginate. Roof of upper mandible concave, with thin ridges, and a small knob at the base; tongue narrow, deep, grooved above, tapering to a horny point; oesophagus dilated about the middle; stomach rather small, roundish, muscular; intestine rather short; coeca very small. Name from [Niphos], snow.