The last of the subfamilies into which the diurnal birds of prey are here divided forms a large group of several genera and numerous species, which enjoy a practically world-wide distribution. They are in general very active birds, of small or moderate size, but endowed with indomitable courage and “dash.” They have a slender, graceful form, with the head comparatively small and the bill weak, but provided with a prominent “festoon,” while the wings are rather short and rounded, the tail long and usually rounded, or occasionally even, or emarginated. The legs are very long, and the feet slender, with the middle toe much lengthened, its first joint being about equal to the whole length of the inner toe. They are especially remarkable in having the tibia and tarsus of nearly equal length, the latter with the upper third or half feathered, while the bare space is connected with usually very distinct and continuous transverse scutellae.
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