Occiput, nape, and hind-neck, saffron-yellow: wings, tail, and under parts, pure white.
A. russata, Wagler, Syst. Av. part i. sp. 12. A. sequinoctialis, Mont, in Linn. Trans, vol. ix. p. 197. Little White Heron, Mont. Orn. Diet. Supp. with fig. Buff-backed Heron, Selb. Illust. vol. 11. p. 24.
* Entire length twenty inches six lines: length of the bill (from the forehead) two inches two lines, (from the gape) two inches ten lines; of the tarsus three inches; of the naked part of the tibia one inch one line; of the middle toe, claw included, two inches nine lines; of the tail four inches; from the carpus to the end of the wing ten inches.
(Mature plumage). "Occiput, nape, and hinder part of the neck, clothed with rigid open feathers of a saffron yellow: throat, front part of the neck and breast, white, tinged with sienna-yellow: long flowing plumes of the back ochre-yellow: wings, tail, and under parts of the body, pure white." Selby. (Immature plumage). " The whole plumage snow white, excepting the crown of the head, and the upper part of the neck before, which are buff: the skin of a very dark colour, almost black, so that on the cheeks and sides of the neck, where the feathers are thin, it is partly seen, giving a dingy shade to the white plumage of those parts: feathers on the back of the head somewhat elongated, but scarcely forming a crest: those on the lower part of the neck before, rather more elongated, hanging loosely over the upper part of the breast: tail slightly forked, and so short as to be entirely covered by the wings when folded: bill, lore, and orbits, orange-yellow: irides pale yellow: legs nearly black, with a tinge of green." Mont.
A single individual of this species, in immature plumage, and probably a young bird of the year, is recorded by Montagu to have been shot near Kingsbridge in Devonshire, the latter end of October 1805. This specimen, which is now in the British Museum, is the only one that has hitherto occurred in this country. It is a native of the warmer parts of Europe, as well as of Asia and Africa, hut is not found in America, " the Ardea cequinoctialis, with which it has been confounded, being a distinct species, and confined to that continent." Habits unknown.
* These measurements were taken from Montagu's original specimen.
* * A small 'portion of the tibia naked; tarsi short.