Tiny, compact, dark bittern. Slate-gray on the upperparts and pale on the underparts, which have thick dark streaks. Found in heavily vegetated wetland habitats, including ponds, swamps, and sometimes mangroves. Uncommon, shy, and secretive. Call is a short series of low “hraw” notes. Somewhat similar to Striated Heron, but smaller, shorter- and thicker-necked, and darker on the back.