Large maroon wading bird with a long curved bill. Breeding adults have reddish legs and a bare patch of pink skin in front of the eye, which is bordered in white. In good light, note the metallic green and bronze wings.
Nonbreeding/immature birds look like adults but lack the bare skin patch and the white border around the eye. Note red eye.
Feeds in shallow marshes, wet ditches, and flooded or irrigated cropfields, often in large flocks.
Juveniles are paler brown overall with a paler cheek and patches of white feathers on the neck.
Flies with its neck outstretched and head slightly drooping.
Often appears all dark, but note rich chestnut body and metallic bronze-and-green wings and tail.
Pairs often preen each other during courtship, a behavior known as allopreening.
Often perches in low trees and shrubs at the edge of wetlands.
- Long, down-curved bill.
- Long dark legs.
- Body all dark.
Immature DescriptionSimilar to adult, but with dark banded bill and duller body.
- Both Sexes
- Length: 18.1-22.1 in (46-56 cm)
- Weight: 15.9-18.5 oz (450-525 g)
- Wingspan: 35.4-36.6 in (90-93 cm)
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