Volume 7, Plate 8

Virginian Rail
Clapper Rail
Blue Crane
Little Egret

Clapper Rail

The whole defense of this species seems to be in the nervous vigour of its limbs and thin compressed form of its body, by which it is enabled to pass between the stalks of grass and reeds with great rapidity. They are also everywhere among the salt marshes covered ways, under the flat and matted grass, through which the rail makes its way like a rat, without a possibility of being seen. There is generally one or more of these from its nest to the water-edge, by which it may escape unseen; and sometimes, if closely pressed, it will dive to the other side of the pond, gut, or inlet, rising and disappearing again with the silence and celerity of thought.

Blue Crane

The genus Ardea is the most numerous of all the wading tribes, there being no less than ninety-six different species enumerated by late writers. These re again subdivided into particular families, each distinguished by a certain peculiarity. The cranes, by having the head bald; the storks, with the orbits naked; and the herons, with the middle claw pectinated. To this last the bitterns belong. Several of these are nocturnal birds, feeding only as the evening twilight commences, and reposing either among the long grass and reeds, or on tall trees, in sequestered places, during the day. What is very remarkable, these night wanderers often associate, during the breeding season, with the others, building their nests on the branches of the same tree; and, though differing so little in external form, feeding on nearly the same food, living and lodging in the same place, yet preserve their race, language, and manners, as perfectly distinct from those of their neighbors as if each inhabited a separate quarter of the globe.