surrounds the title to this image and the to description given by
Audubon - which differs from all other descriptions and observation of this species.
" Ardea coerulea " in the his text and as the title to the
print - this name is not recognised by any authority. Wilson's
American Ornithology (1840) lists this species as " Ardea
Caerulea " with no reference to any prior use of " coerulea
". Jardine reinforces this with his renaming this species to " Egretta
caerulea " (1835).
The print has
been restored according to Audubon's written description although
this differs from other contemporary and all modern descriptions
and observation. Perhaps Audubon chose to illustrate a
particularly spectacular specimen or decided to "jazz it up" a bit
for commercial reasons. Whichever it was, the resulting image is
certainly very arresting.