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This species, as its scientific name implies, is intermediate in size between the Great Egret and smaller white egrets like the Little Egret and Cattle Egret, though nearer to Little than Great. It is about 56–72 cm (22–28 in) long with a 105–115 cm (41–45 in) wingspan and weighs c.400g (14 oz), with all-white plumage, generally dark legs and a thickish yellow bill. Breeding birds may have a reddish or black bill, greenish yellow gape skin, loose filamentous plumes on their breast and back, and dull yellow or pink on their upper legs (regional variations). The sexes are similar.