Family ARDEIDAE

Family ARDEIDAE.

The Herons have the bill long, slender and straight; there are grooves on each side of the upper mandible in which the oval nostrils are placed close to the base; the tarsi are very long, the toes long and slender, with a small web between the middle and outer toes at the base ; the hind toe is well developed and placed on the same plane as the anterior toes.

All Herons have powder-down patches on each side of the rump and of the breast and have the middle toe pectinated.

The family has been split up into innumerable genera by some modern systematists but I see no reason to accept more than those accepted by Blanford for our Indian species, though unfortunately several of the names of these genera are untenable and must give place to others.

Blanford's key is simple and easy for the student or field-naturalist and is therefore adopted practically as given by him.

Key to Genera.

A. Tail-feathers twelve.
a. Nude tibia much longer than inner toe and claw.
a1. Plumage grey above, varied below……………..Ardea, p. 336.
b1. Plumage white throughout……………..Egretta, p. 344.
b. Nude tibia only slightly longer than inner toe and claw, or actually shorter; plumage either dark grey throughout, or pure white throughout, except on the throat; culmen not exceeding, or just exceeding, tarsus in length……………..Demiegretta, p. 351.
c. Nude. tibia shorter than inner toe and claw.
c1. Wings, body and tail white.
a2. Head and back white in Winter, ochreous-buff in breeding-season ; culmen shorter than tarsus……………..Bubulcus, p. 349,
b2. Head and hack always coloured, not buff or only partly so; culmen longer than tarsus……………..Ardeola, p. 353.
d1. Head, body and wings never white.
c2. Culmen longer than tarsus……………..Butorides, p. 356.
d2. Culmen about equal to tarsus, hill deep at base……………..Nycticorax, p. 359.
e2. Culmen shorter than tarsus……………..Gorsakius, p. 361.
B. Tail-feathers ten.
d. Middle toe and claw not longer than culmen.
e1. Smaller; wing under 160 mm……………..Ixobrychus, p. 364.
f1. Larger ; wing over 170 mm……………..Dupetor, p. 368.
e. Middle toe and claw longer than the tarsus, which is longer than the bill……………..Botaurus, p. 370.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India, Including Ceylon And Burma-birds(second Edition)
Reference: 
Baker, EC S (1922–1930) The fauna of British India, including Ceylon and Burma. Second edition. vol.6 1929.
Title in Book: 
Family ARDEIDAE
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Year: 
1929
Page No: 
335
M_ID: 
2164
M_SN: 
Ardeidae
Volume: 
Vol. 6
Term name: 
id: 
5174

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith