1561. Herodias garzetta.
The Little Egret.
Ardea garzetta, Linn. Syst. Nat. i, p. 237 (1766) ; Hume, N. & E. p. 616; Doig, S. F. vii, p. 467. Herodias garzetta, Boie, Isis, 1822, p. 559; Blyth, Cat. p. 279; Jerdon, B. I. iii, p. 746; Tytler, Ibis, 1867, p. 333 ; Hume, S. F. i, p. 253; Adam, ibid. p. 399; Hume, S. F. ii, p. 304 ; iii, p. 190 ; Butler, S. F. iv, p. 23; Hume 8/ Dav. S. F. vi, p. 476; Ball, S. F. vii, p.230; Cripps, ibid. p. 307 ; Hume, Cat. no. 927; Scully, S. F. viii, p. 360; Doig, ibid. p. 372 ; Legge, Birds Ceyl. p. 1144 ; Anders. Yunnan Exped., Aves, p. 688; Vidal, S. F. ix, p. 88 ; Butler, ibid. p. 433 ; Beid, S. F. x, p. 75 ; Davidson, ibid. p. 323; Hume, ibid. p. 416 ; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 248 ; id. in Hume's N. & E. 2nd ed. iii, p. 242; Barnes, Birds Bom. p. 380; id. Jour. Bom. N. H. Soc. vi, p. 144; Heme & Cripps, S. F. xi, p. 333. ? Herodias immaculata, apud Blyth, J. A.S. B. xxi, p. 437; id. Ibis, 1865, p. 37 ; ? nec Gould. ? Herodias eulophotes, apud Hume, S. F. vi, p. 478; id. Cat. no. 927 bis; Oates, B. B. ii, p. 249 ; nec Sicinh. ? Garzetta garzetta, Sharpe, Cat. B. M. xxvi, p. 118.
Kilchia or Karchia bag/a, H.; Nella nucha konga, Tel.; Sudu-koka, Cing.
Coloration. Pure white. The dorsal plumes greatly elongated in the breeding-season, decomposed and turned up at the end; pectoral feathers also lengthened and lanceolate, not decomposed, and a crest of two long attenuated feathers. All of these are wanting at other times.
Bill black at all seasons, base of lower mandible yellowish ; facial skin greenish yellow; iris yellow ; tarsus black, toes mixed yellowish and black (Oates); toes yellow or greenish yellow (Jerdon).
Length about 25 : tail 3.75 ; wing 11; tarsus 4 ; bill from gape 4.
Distribution. Southern Europe, the whole of Africa and Southern Asia to China and Japan, the Malay Archipelago and Australia being inhabited by a doubtfully separable form. Common through¬out India, Ceylon, and Burma.
Habits, &c- The Little Egret breeds at the same time and in the same manner as the other species, and in company with them. Its eggs are more numerous, frequently 5 or 6 in a nest, they are smaller and measure 1.73 by 1.32.
I have examined the skin from Amherst near Moulmein referred to H. eulophotes by Hume. It is certainly not Lepterodius sacer (with which H. eulophotes, Swinhoe, is identified, rightly I believe, by Sharpe). It is probably an abnormally small specimen of H. garzetta, having a tarsus only 3.1 in. long. H. nigripes, Temm. (H. immaculata,Gould), inhabiting the Malay Archipelago and Australia, has been separated from H. garzetta for various reasons, none of which, so far as I can ascertain, are valid.