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Plate Number: I 79

Ardea Stellaris Cristata Americana: The Crested Bittern

Crested Bittern Plate Number: I 79

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.

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