Great Nebraska

Naturalists and Scientists

NOU, Lawrence Bruner, Letter, 1905, May 3

Lincoln, Nebr., May 3, 1905.
Prof. J. R. Collins,
Springfield, Ill.

My Dear Sir:-
Your favor of April 12 has been “snowed under” on my desk and hence the delay in the reply. I note what you say concerning the so called Jack-o-lantern” or “Will-o-the-wisp” in connection with the various species of herons. While I myself have not definitely determined that the herons are responsible for these mysterious swamp fires, I have obtain- my clue from a remark given in Holden’s book on Lights in Nature. If you will examine a heron of any species, you will see upon its breast and other portions of its under side, tracts of downy feathers strongly coated with a powdery substance, the use of which has never been determined. With these few remarks I will leave the subject to your investigation.
Yours very truly,