Family XXIII. SITTINAE. NUTHATCHES.
GENUS I. SITTA, Linn. NUTHATCH
Bill rather long, or of moderate length, straight, conico-subulate, a little compressed, rather obtuse; upper mandible with the dorsal outline very slightly arched, the ridge rather narrow, the sides sloping, the edges sharp, without notches, the tip rather blunt; lower mandible with the angle of moderate length and narrow, the dorsal line ascending and very slightly convex, the sides slightly convex, the tip narrow. Nostrils basal, round operculate, partially concealed by the reversed bristly feathers. Head ovate; neck short; body short Tarsi rather short, stout, compressed, with eight scutella; toes long, much compressed; first very long, second much shorter than fourth; anterior toes adherent at the base. Claws long, arched, much compressed, laterally grooved, acute. Plumage very soft and blended. Small bristles at the base of the upper mandible. Wings rather long, first quill extremely small, third and fourth longest. Tail short, of twelve feathers broad, nearly even. Upper mandible slightly concave, with three ridges; tongue slender, very thin, with the point abrupt and terminated by strong bristles; oesophagus without dilatation; stomach rather large, roundish, moderately muscular; intestine rather short and wide; coeca very small.