Family I. VULTURINAE. VULTURINE BIRDS, or VULTURES.
GENUS I. CATHARTES, Illiger. TURKEY-VULTURE
Bill of moderate length, rather slender, somewhat compressed; upper mandible with its dorsal outline nearly straight and declinate to the end of the large cere, then decurved, the edges a little festooned, rather thick, the tip descending and rather obtuse; lower mandible with the angle long and rather narrow, the dorsal line ascending and slightly convex, the back broad, the edges sharp, towards the end decurved. Nostrils oblong, large, pervious. Head oblong. Tongue deeply concave or induplicate, its edges serrate with reversed papillae. OEsophagus dilated into an enormous crop; stomach moderately muscular; duodenum convoluted. Head and upper part of neck denuded, being only sparingly covered with very short down. Wings very long, and extremely broad; third, fourth, and fifth primaries longest, first much shorter. Tail of moderate length, nearly even. Tarsus short, rather stout, roundish, reticulate. Hind toe very small, second a little shorter than fourth, third very long all scutellate for more than half their length. Claws strong, arched, compressed, obtuse.