American Nutcracker

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“Picicorvus. American Nutcracker. General characteristics of the European Nucifraga. Bill slenderer, more acute, with more regularly curved culmen and commissure, and straight instead of convex and ascending gonys as a whole somewhat decurved. Nostrils circular, concealed by a full tuft of plumules. Wings long and pointed, folding to the end of the tail; 5th quill longest; 4th, 3d, 6th little less; 2d much shorter, 1st not half as long as 5th. Tail little over half as long as wing, little rounded. Tarsus shorter than middle toe and claw; the envelope divided into small plates on the sides behind the bottom. Claws very large, strong, acute and much curved, especially that of the hind toe; the lateral reaching beyond base of the middle claw. Coloration peculiar; gray, with black-and-white wings and tail. Habits much the same as those of Nucifraga; alpine and sub-boreal, pinicoline, and pinivorous. One species, confined to West Amer.” Elliot Coues, 1884


Birds: M-O


Elliot Coues Key to North American Birds (Boston, MA: Estes and Lauriat, 1884)


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