Small, compact white heron with relatively short yellow bill. More often seen in dry habitats than other egrets, but also frequent in rice paddies and shallow wetlands. In the breeding season, look for bright orange head and breast, as well as a brighter bill. Leg color varies from reddish or yellow during the breeding season to black during the nonbreeding season. Juveniles have dark bill. Always note relatively short, thick neck and short legs compared with other egrets. Often gathers in flocks, frequently following large animals and field machinery.