This enormous heron stands 1.5 meters tall and has a robust, dagger-like bill. The immature has rustier upperwings than the adult. Its flight is ponderous and labored. Goliath Heron inhabits large rivers, marshes, estuaries, and mangroves, hunting for large fish and other animals, stabbing them with an open bill. It has a distinct, barking “kowoork” call that can be heard from up to 2 km away. Purple Heron has similar plumage, but Goliath Heron is twice the size, has a much larger bill, and has a rufous (not blackish) top of the head.