Adults have a blue-grey head, neck, back and upperwings, with a white line along the neck. The belly is white. In breeding plumage, they have long blue filamentous plumes on the head and neck, and buff ones on the back.
Swamps, bayous, coastal ponds, salt marshes, mangrove islands, mudflats, and lagoons.
Formerly known in North America as the Louisiana Heron.