from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. any bird that yields ornamental plumes, especially the species of Epimarchus from New Guinea, and some of the herons and egrets, as the white heron of Florida (Ardea candidissima).


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  • Former nickname for the Great Egret and Snowy Egret, both of which were hunted almost to extinction for their white plume feathers. Such hunting was outlawed in the early part of the 20th century and the birds came under the protection of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

    January 14, 2009