Ardea purpurea, Lin.
924. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 743 ; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 23 ; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 433; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 269; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 135.
THE PURPLE HERON.
Length, 36 to 42 ; expanse, 58 ; wing, 15.5 ; tail, 5.75; tarsus, 5.25 ; bill at front, 5.4,
Bill deep yellow, brownish above ; orbitar skin greenish-yellow; irides yellow; tarsus reddish-brown, yellowish behind and on the soles of the feet.
Adult in full plumage: crown and occipital crest black with green reflections; throat white ; cheeks and sides of the neck reddish-brown, with three longitudinal narrow black bands, two lateral ones from the eyes to the breast, and the third from the nape down the black of the neck; neck in front variegated with rufous black and purple, the feathers on the top of the breast long and acuminated, purplish-white ; back, wings, and tail, reddish-ash ; the scapulars purple, long, and subulate, forming a brilliant plume on each side ; breast and flanks deep brownish-red ; belly and thigh-coverts the same, but paler and mixed with white.
The immature bird has the crest, scapulars and neck plumes deficient; the forehead black ; the nape and cheeks pale rufous ; the throat white ; the forepart of the neck and the sides of the breast yellowish-white, with black spots; back, wings, and tail, dusky-ash, the feathers edged with reddish-ash; lower parts whitish.
The Purple Heron is common in suitable places throughout the district. The remarks concerning breeding apply to this species also.