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ADULT Typical morph appears blue-gray overall, but neck is tinged pinkish and adorned with black and white streaks down center. Note the mainly white face and crown, separated by broad black stripe that ends in short plumes. Lower breast feathers form shaggy plumes; note also the reddish "trousers." Lores are blue at height of breeding season. In flight, seen from above, note the dark flight feathers; from below, wings look uniformly dark gray, except for reddish leading edge to inner wing. White morph has pure white plumage; intermediate forms also occur with variably pale pinkish blue body plumage and white head.
JUVENILE Similar overall to adult, but blue morph birds are less strikingly marked, particularly on head: crown is dark and head plumes are absent.

Length: 39-52"

Utters a hoarse fraarnk call in flight; otherwise mostly silent.

Huge heron with long legs and neck and huge, daggerlike bill. Typical blue-gray form is unmistakable but white morph ("Great White Heron") could be mistaken for smaller Great Egret, which has dark (not yellowish legs) and a proportionately smaller bill. Diet of all birds is highly variable and includes fish, amphibians, and crustaceans, and even mammals and birds on occasion. Flies with deep, powerful wingbeats, neck hunched up and legs trailing. Sexes are similar