- Length: 25 inches Wingspan: 46 inches
- Sexes similar
- Medium-sized, long-legged, long-necked wader
- Bill fairly long and pointed
- Pink-based bill with black tip
- Dark legs and feet
- Sometimes actively feeds by flapping wings and running through shallow water
- Usually holds neck in an "S" curve at rest and in flight
- Blue-gray body
- Brownish head and neck with shaggy plumes
- White body
- White head and neck with shaggy plumes
- Brown body, head, and neck
In all plumages the heavy, pink-based bill and shaggy neck are diagnostic.
The dark Little Blue Heron is somewhat similar but has a gray-based bill and
is smaller without the shaggy neck. Tricolored Heron has a white belly.
White morph birds are similar to egrets and other white phase herons but note
the different bill and leg colors.
Length and wingspan from: Robbins, C.S., Bruun, B., Zim, H.S., (1966). Birds of North America. New York: Western Publishing Company, Inc.
Patuxent Bird Population Studies
Patuxent Bird Identification InfoCenter