Medium-sized dark heron. Long bill is pale blue at the base and darker at the tip. Adults are grayish-blue overall; purplish head and neck contrast with body. Immatures are white in their first year, often showing splotches of gray-blue by their first spring. Greenish-yellow legs. Forages in wetlands. Moves slowly through the shallows with neck outstretched. More elongated body than Snowy Egret.