Small, compact white heron with stout yellow bill. Often seen on dry land. Legs red or yellow during the breeding season, black during nonbreeding season. Breeding birds in Europe, Africa, and the Americas (sometimes regarded as a separate species) have reddish-pink bills and creamy patches on body; Asian and Australasian breeders are yellow-billed with extensive orangish plumage on the head and neck. Often feeds by following cattle or tractors in fields.