Ardeola Boie, Isis, 1822, col. 559.
Type by mon,, Ardea ralloides Scop.
The Pond-Herons, or Squacco Herons as they are called in England, are intermediate in plumage between the Egrets and Herons but are smaller than either. The feathers of the head, neck and upper breast are elongate and those of the two latter decomposed in the breeding-season, during which there is also a crest of elongate, lanceolate feathers. The bill is stout and about equal in length to the middle toe and claw; the tarsus is strong and about the same in length as the bill; the tail has twelve feathers and is typically broad; the neck is shorter than in the Herons.
The head, neck and back are always coloured but undergo a complete change of colour in the breeding-season.
The genus is represented almost throughout the temperate and tropical countries of the Old World.
Key to Species.
A. Head and neck in breeding plumage brown……………A. grayii, p. 354.
B. Head and neck in breeding plumage chestnut……………A. bacchus, p. 355.