Family XXXVI. SCOLOPACINE. SNIPES.
GENUS VIII. RECURVIROSTRA, Linn. AVOCET
Bill twice the length of the head, very slender, much depressed, tapering to a point, and slightly recurved; upper mandible with the dorsal line straight for half its length, then a little curved upwards, and at the tip slightly decurved, the ridge broad and flattened, the edges rather thick; nasal groove rather long and very narrow; lower mandible with the angle long and very narrow, the dorsal line slightly curved upwards, the point very slender, extremely thin, and a little curved upwards. Nostrils linear, basal. Head small, rounded above, rather compressed; neck long; body compact. Legs very long, slender; tibia bare for half its length, and reticulated; tarsus very long, compressed, reticulated with hexagonal scales; toes rather short, the first extremely small; outer toe a little longer than inner; anterior toes connected by webs of which the anterior margin is deeply concave. Claws very small, compressed, rather acute. Plumage soft and blended. Wings long, pointed, the first quill longest; inner secondaries elongated and tapering. Tail short, even, of twelve rather narrow rounded feathers. Tongue short in proportion to the length of the bill, slender, tapering to a point; oesophagus wide, considerably dilated at the lower part of the neck; stomach an oblong gizzard of moderate strength, its epithelium hard, longitudinally rugous; intestine long and of moderate width; coeca rather long.