A small, dark, chunky heron. Legs bright orange in breeding adult, yellow otherwise. Crown (with shaggy crest, sometimes raised) black; sides of head, neck, and chest rich maroon-chestnut, with narrow white black-bordered median stripe down foreneck; above otherwise greenish black, brownish gray below.
Fairly common and widespread both coastally and around fresh water (particularly numerous along shores of lakes and rivers) in lowlands on both slopes.
Habits and Behavior
Usually solitary. Normally hunts by standing on a perch just out of the water (not often wading). When nervous often flicks its tail and raises its crest. Flushed birds often give vent to a loud complaining kyow as they fly off.