Occipital feathers very long, white edged with black: neck, back, and scapulars, pale buff-orange.
A. Ralloides, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. 11. p. 581. Squacco Heron, Selb. Must. vol. 11. p. 25. pl. 6. Mont. Orn. Diet. Supp. Shaw, Zool. vol. xi. p. 574.
Entire length seventeen inches: length of the bill (from the forehead) two inches six lines, (from the gape) three inches one line; of the tarsus two inches; of the naked part of the tibia eleven lines and a half; of the middle toe, claw included, two inches seven lines; of the tail three inches one line; from the carpus to the end of the wing eight inches eleven lines.
(Mature plumage). Forehead and crown yellowish, streaked with black; a pendent crest from the occiput, consisting of eight or ten very long narrow white feathers edged at the sides with black: throat white; neck, breast, upper part of the back, and scapulars, pale buff orange; middle and lower regions of the back inclining to ferruginous chestnut, the feathers on those parts very long, with disunited webs, and floating loosely over the tail: all the rest of the plumage pure white: bill bluish green at the base, the tip black: lore and orbits gray tinged with green: irides yellow: feet yellow tinged with green. (Plumage during the first and second year). " Without the long occipital feathers; head, neck, and wing-coverts, ferruginous brown, with large longitudinal spots of a darker tint; throat, rump, and tail, pure white; upper part of the back and scapulars of a more or less deep brown: upper mandible greenish brown; lower mandible greenish yellow: orbits green: irides very pale yellow: feet greenish ash." Temm. (Egg). Unknown.
A very rare, and only occasional visitant. Shot at Boyton in Wiltshire, in 1775. A second specimen taken at Ormsby in Norfolk, in 1820; a third killed in Cambridgeshire; and a fourth, a female, at Bridgewater, in the Summer of 1825. Common in some parts of the Continent. Frequents marshes and the borders of rivers, etc. Food small fish, mollusca, and insects. Said to build in trees. Obs. This species is the A. comata of Pallas and some other authors.
*** Tibia entirely feathered; tarsi short.