This heron’s common names
use colour as descriptor.
None of them are pretty
and both are contradictory.
Nankeen – a cotton fabric – whitish buff.
Rufous – reddish brown, or close enough.
Johann Friedrich Gmelin,
applied due scientific discipline
to classify the species thus
– Nycticorax Caledonicus.
On top of that,
he penned the common name
of Bihoreau cannelle.
A shade, I think, that suits it very well.
** Image – The Australian Home Companion and Band of Hope Journal, Saturday 17 November, 1861. Trove, National Library of Australia.