This bird was killed at the head of the Wakatipu Lake, above Queenstown, and forwarded to the Museum by Mr. J. S. Worthington. It is not described by Mr. Buller in his Essay “On the Ornithology of New Zealand,” which forms part of the Transactions of the New Zealand Institute, Vol. i.; but a similar bird is referred to in a paper read by Mr. Buller last year, before the Wellington Philosophical Society, as having been received at the Canterbury Museum.
This bird is provisionally named the New Zealand Little Bittern (Ardeola Novœ Zelandiœ), and the following is a description of it:— Height 12½ in.; length from point of bill to tip of tail 14¾ in.; from tip of bill to gape 2¾ in; wing from flexus 6 in. Tibia is feathered to ⅜ in. of tarsus joint; mit toe 2¾ in., serrated as in common bittern; primary quills of wings and tail bluish black above, shading into slate colour below; wing coverts buff; scapulars, back, and centre ribs, dark brown, shading into rufous down each web; margins light buff; flexure joint tipped with a rufous or rust-coloured spot; top of head bluish black; back of neck rusty brown; front of neck or throat reddish brown
[Footnote] * Mr. Potts has identified this Bittern as Ardetta pusilla, Gould. See ante, page 95; also, No. B. 75, Art. XI., Trans., Vol. iii.—Ed.