Volume 7, Plate 7

Green Heron
Night Heron and young
Great White Heron

Green Heron

This common and familiar species owes little to the liberality of public opinion, whose prejudices have stigmatised it with a very vulgar and indelicate nick name, and treat it on all occasions as worthless and contemptible. Yet few birds are more independent of man than this; for it fares best, and is always most numerous, where cultivation is least known or attended to, its favourite residence being the watery solitudes of swamps, pools, and morasses, where millions of frogs and lizards "tune their nocturnal notes" in full chorus, undisturbed by the lords of creation.

Night Heron

On entering the swamp in the neighbourhood of one of these breeding places, the noise of the old and the young would almost induce one to suppose that two or three hundred Indians were choking or throttling each other. The instant an intruder is discovered, the whole rise in the air in silence, and remove to the tops of the trees in another part of the woods, while parties of from eight to ten make occasional circuits over the spot to see what is going on.

Great White Heron

The long plumes of these birds have at various periods been in great request on the continent of Europe, particularly in France and Italy, for the purpose of ornamenting the female head-dress. When dyed of various colours, and tastefully fashioned, they form a light and elegant duster and mosquito brush. The Indians prize them for ornamenting their hair or top-knot; and I have occasionally observed these people wandering through the market-place of New Orleans, with bunches of those feather for sale.