Family XVI. AGELAINAE. MARSH BLACK-BIRDS.
GENUS V. QUISCALUS, Vieill. CROW-BLACKBIRD
Bill as long as the head, or somewhat longer, nearly straight, strong, tapering, compressed from the base; upper mandible with its outline slightly declinate, a little convex, the ridge narrow at the base and encroaching a little on the forehead, afterwards broad, rounded, and indistinct, the sides convex, the edges sharp and direct, or slightly inflected, with a faint festoon anterior to the nostrils, the tip deflected, acute; lower mandible with the angle short and rounded, the dorsal line straight, slightly deflected at the end, the ridge convex, the sides rounded, the edges inflected, the tip very acute. Nostrils basal, oval, half-closed by a membrane. Head of moderate size, ovate, flattened above; neck of moderate length; body rather slender. Feet of moderate length; tarsus as long as the middle toe and claw, compressed, with eight anterior scutella; toes rather long, with large scutella, the hind toe stronger, the lateral toes nearly equal, the middle toe much longer. Claws rather long, slightly arched, compressed, not laterally grooved, acute. Plumage blended, highly glossed. Wings of moderate length, the second and third quills longest, the first and fourth little shorter. Tail long, graduated or rounded, the feathers flat or slightly concave, slightly emarginate, with the inner webs longer than the outer. Roof of the upper mandible concave, with three longitudinal ridges, of which the middle is enlarged at the base and prominent; tongue slender, sagittate, concave above, tapering to a thin lacerated point; oesophagus rather wide, considerably dilated about the middle; stomach of moderate size, elliptical or roundish, moderately muscular, the lateral muscles distinct, the epithelium dense, horny, slightly rugous, with two roundish grinding surfaces; intestine of moderate length, rather wide; coeca very small; cloaca oblong.