Family II. FALCONINAE. FALCONINE BIRDS.
GENUS VII. ICTINIA, Vieillot
Bill very short, wide at the base, much compressed toward the end; upper
mandible with the dorsal line decurved in its whole length, the sides slightly
convex, the tip narrow and acute, the edges with an obtuse lobe; lower mandible
with the angle very wide, the dorsal line ascending and convex, the tip rather
broad and obliquely truncate. Nostrils round, lateral, with a central papilla.
Head rather large, roundish, broad, flattened; neck short, body compact. Legs
rather short; tarsus stout, covered anteriorly with scutella; toes scutellate
above, scabrous beneath, with pointed papillae; claws rather long, curved,
acuminate, flattened beneath. Plumage rather compact. Wings very long, the
third quill longest. Tail long, emarginate.
This genus is easily distinguished from Elanus; the tarsi and toes being scutellate in this, and scaly in that; and the festoon on the upper mandible is much more prominent in the Ictinia, while the nostrils, instead of being, elliptical, are round, as in the Falcons.