Often mistaken for an egret in flight due to its all-white wings, but the dark head separates it from any egret. This medium-sized heron is found across many different marshy habitats. Breeding adults have a chestnut head, neck, and breast, and a veil of bluish-black plumes over the white wings. Nonbreeding adults and juveniles are brown all over save for the white wings. In areas where the ranges of multiple pond-heron species overlap, nonbreeders and juveniles are best left unidentified.