Nostrils terminating externally in tubes separate or united. Horny covering of bill divided into several pieces by deep grooves. Hind toe small, rudimentary or absent. Anterior toes webbed throughout. Primaries eleven. Fifth secondary wanting. Oil-gland tufted. Special feather tract well developed. Schizognathous. Single egg. Young helpless, clad in down till fully grown. Sexes alike.
Nostrils united externally in one tube.... OCEANITES
Nostrils united externally with two openings .... PUFFINUS
DAPTION . FULMARS.
Nostrils distinct ... PELECANOIDES . DIVING PETRELS.
Nostrils separate, in horny sheath , DIOMEDEA ALBATROSSES.
PETRELS, SHEARWATERS, FULMARS, ALBATROSSES.
Resemble Gulls externally, but as nearly allied to the Steganopodes as to any other order. Nostrils terminating externally in tubes separate or united. Horny covering of bill divided into several pieces by deep grooves. Upper mandible generally much hooked at the end. Anterior toes webbed throughout. Hind toe small, rudimentary or absent. Primaries eleven. Fifth secondary wanting. Oil-gland tufted. Spinal feather tract well defined by lateral bare tracts on neck. Schizognathous. Vomer large, broad, depressed, and pointed. Nostrils impervious. Single egg in a burrow without nest, white, or with zone of reddish spots near larger end. Young helpless, and clad with down till fully grown. Sexes alike in colour. Food chiefly fishes, Crustacea, or insects. Swift, powerful flyers, passing the greater part of their life far from land, resting on the water at times, and only visiting the shore, as a rule, for breeding purposes.
LAND BIRDS are only at sea by accident. COAST BIRDS are seen at sea, but near land. OCEAN BIRDS seldom visit shore, except to breed. Land Birds explain wind-currents, while difference between Coast and Ocean Birds is the difference between signs that do and signs that do not prove proximity of land. As a rough distinction, the more a bird lives on land the more he flaps his wings. The Rook flaps continually. The Gull skims and flaps in about equal ratio. The Albatross rarely, if ever, flaps.