Large, stocky, strongly patterned heron with broad neck and yellow-green legs. Upperparts dark brown, underparts streaked. Usually found in reed beds, where it can be difficult to observe; often forages at night. When disturbed, “freezes,” with head pointing upward (as if trying to blend in with the habitat). Compare young Rufous Night-Heron, which is much smaller, has shorter neck, and tends to roost in trees. Song a very deep, slowly repeated "boom."