Family XXV. ALCEDINAE. KINGFISHERS.
GENUS I. ALCEDO, Linn. KINGFISHER
Bill long, straight, rather stout, broader than high at the base, but suddenly much compressed, and tapering to an acute point; upper mandible with the dorsal line almost straight, the ridge distinct, but somewhat flattened, the edges nearly straight, without notch, the tip acute; lower mandible with the angle of moderate length and narrow, the dorsal line ascending and nearly straight; gap-line commencing beneath the middle of the eye; nostrils basal, near the ridge, linear, obliquely ascending, half closed by a bare membrane. Head large, oblong; neck short; body robust. Feet very short; tarsus extremely short, roundish, anteriorly faintly scaly; anterior toes cohered for a great part of the length, outer longer than inner, first small. Claws rather short, stout, arched, acute. Plumage rather compact, more blended above. Wings long, pointed, with the second and third quills longest. Tail short, even, of twelve rounded feathers.