The Journals of Lewis & Clark: Lewis, August 2, 1804
Lewis, August 2, 1804
This day one of our Hunters brought me a white Heron. this bird as an inhabitant of ponds and Marasses, and feeds upon tadpoles, frogs, small fish &c- they are common to the Mississipi and the lower part of the ohio River, (ie) as high as the falls of that river.
this bird weighed two lbs.- it's plumage is perfectly white and very thin
F I. from extremity of beak to the extremity of toe 4 71/4 from tipp to tip of wing on the back 4 11
it's beak is yellow pointed, flated crosswise and 5 Inches in length from the upper region of the bill to the eye is one inch in length, covered with a smoth yellow skin the plumage of the head projecting towards the upper bill and coming to a point a an Inch beyond the eyes on the center of the upper bill. The mouth opens to distance of the eyes- The eye is full and projecting reather, it is 7/10 of half an inch. four joints in the wing
Inches 1st joint from body in length 6 2ed Do. 81/4 3rd Do. 31/2 4th Do. 1 1st joint Number of feathers 7 Length of 3 2nd 18 6 3 6 from 10 to 12 4th 5 12
it's legs are black- the neck and beak occupy 1/2 it's length. it has four toes on a foot- the outer toe on the right foot is from the joining of the leg to extremity of toe nale 4 Inch & 1/4 has four joints exclusive of the nail joint- the next is 43/4 inches has three joints exclusive of the nale joint. the next is 33/4 and has two joints, the heel toe has one joint only and is 3 Inches in length. the nails are long sharp and black- the eye is of a deep seagreen colour, with a circle of of pale yellow around the sight forming a border to the outer part of the eye of about half the width of the whole eye. the tale has 12 feathers of six inches in length.- the wings when folded are the same length with the tale.
has 2 remarkable tufts of long feathers on each side joining the body at the upper joint of the wing. these cover the feathers of the 1st joint of the wings when they are over extended