Bubulcus coromandus, Bodd.
929. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. II, p. 749 ; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. IV, p. 23; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, 434 ; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 271 ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India ; Ibis, 1885, p. 136.
THE CATTLE EGRET.
Length, 21 ; expanse, 37 ; wing, 10.25 ; tail, 4; tarsus, 3.5; bill at front, 2.5.
Bill deep orange-yellow ; orbitar region yellowish-pink ; irides pale yellow ; legs whitish-green on the tibia and to a little below the knee ; rest of the tarsus blackish-green, with a reddish tinge on the toes, which are greenish below.
In summer dress, the whole head, which is crested, neck, and breast, rich golden-buff, except the chin, and a narrow median line on the neck ; dorsal plumes of the same hue, very filamentose and decomposed, about eight or nine inches long ; elongated feathers of the breast white at base, yellow at tip; the rest of the plumage pure white.
In non-breeding dress the plumage is entirely white ; the ' bill yellow in place of orange, and the orbitar skin yellow.
The Cattle Heron is common throughout the district. In its breeding habits it resembles the other members of the family, but occasionally a colony of them may be found breeding alone or in company with the Pond Heron. Their eggs may be distinguished from those of all other herons by their excessive paleness.