Small heron, usually found in reed beds, expansive marshes, and rice fields; can occasionally be found in parks with sheltered areas, particularly lotus ponds and shaded pools. Generally uncommon throughout its range; never in the high densities of Yellow Bittern. Male is smartly attired, with a black cap, brown back, and a white neck and breast with a dark line extending down from the throat. Female is darker, with fine white spotting on the back and pale brown streaks on the throat. Compare with Cinnamon Bittern. Males give a gruff “roof, roof, roof” on the breeding grounds.