Ardea Stellaris Cristata Americana: The crested Bittern.
Weighs a Pound and half. The Bill is black and strong. The Eyes
very large and prominent, with red Irides. The Skin encompassing
the Eyes is green. The Crown of the Head, from the Basis of the
Bill, of a pale yellow terminating in a Peak; from which hang three
or four long white Feathers, the longest of which is six Inches;
which they erect, when irritated. From the Angle of the Mouth runs
a broad white Lift. The Rest of the Head is of a blueish black.
The Neck, Breast and Belly dusky blue. The Back is striped with
black Streaks, with a Mixture of white. From the Upper-part of the
Back shoot many long narrow Feathers, extending beyond the Tail;
some of which are Seven Inches long. The large Feathers of the Wing
are brown, with a Tincture of blue. The Legs and Feet are yellow.
These Birds are seen in Carolina in the rainy Seasons; but
in the Bahama Islands, they breed in Bushes growing among
the Rocks in prodigious Numbers, and are of great Use to the Inhabitants
there; who, while these Birds are young, and before they can fly,
employ themselves in taking them, for the Delicacy of their Food.
They are, in some of these rocky Islands, so numerous, that in a
few Hours, two Men will load one of their Calapatches or
little Boats, taking them pearching from off the Rocks and Bushes;
they making no Attempt to escape, tho' almost full grown. They are
called by the Bahamians, Crab-catchers, Crabs being what
they mostly subsist on; yet they are well-tasted, and free from
any rank or fishy Savour.
Lobelia frutescens, Portulacae folio.
This Plant grows usually to the Height of five or six Feet. The
Leaves are, in Thickness and Form, not unlike Purslain. At the End
of a Stalk, growing from the Joint of a Leaf, there are set three
or four monopetalous white Flowers, divided into five Pointed Sections,
with a wreathed Stamen hanging out. The Flower here exhibited
is slit down to the Basis and laid flat open. The Flowers are succeeded
by globular Berries, of the Size of black Bullace, containing a
Stone, covered with a smooth black Skin. These Plants grow on the
rocky Shores of many of the Bahama Islands.