Generally uncommon in open, mainly wild country. Breeds from reedy lakeshores to boggy clearings in boreal forest, winters in wetlands and farmland. Very large and tall, with distinctive "bustle" on lower back. Adult has black-and-white head pattern, small red crown patch. Flight unhurried, with neck outstretched (unlike herons), and stiff wingbeats quickest on upstroke; groups often fly in V-formation, like geese. Loud, rolling calls carry long distances.