Whole plumage white: bill black.

A. Garzetta, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. 11. p. 574. Egret, Penn. Brit. Zool. vol. 11. Append, p. 631. pl. 7. Mont. Orn. Diet. Little Egret, Lath. Syn. vol. III. p. 90. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. 11. p. 17. Little Egret Heron, Selb. Illust. vol. 11. p. 21. pl. 5.

Dimensions

Entire length one foot ten or eleven inches. Temm.

Description

(Mature plumage in Summer). The whole plumage pure white: a pendent crest of long narrow feathers on the occiput: a tuft of similar feathers, the webs silky and disunited, on the lower part of the neck: dorsal plumes likewise of the same character, being of a soft silky texture, with the shafts very much elongated, and floating loosely over the back and tail from between the shoulders: bill black: lore and orbits greenish: irides bright yellow: feet dusky green; toes greenish yellow. (Immature plumage, and adult in Winter). The long silky plumes on the occiput, back, and lower part of the neck, wanting. In very young birds, the white is of a dull tint; the bill, lore, orbits, irides, and feet, black. (Egg). White. Temm.

An extremely rare and accidental visitant in this country, though supposed to have been more plentiful formerly. Said to have been shot in Anglesey, and also in Ireland, many years ago. More recently, in April 1824, two specimens are recorded to have been killed near Penzance in Cornwall, and one of them to have been preserved. Common on some parts of the Continent. Said to breed in marshes, and to lay four or five eggs.