Thick dark bill, with greenish tip
Pale buff-brown back, with faint violet sheen
Summer adults have elongated neck feathers. Bill black and blue; legs pink during courtship period
Freshwater swamps, ponds and ditches, often with very small areas of water, also larger waterbodies with dense vegetation, especially reedbeds with scattered willows.
Local nomad along vegetated margins of pans, lakes and slow moving rivers. It skulks in long grass, sitting motionless for long periods.
The white wings are concealed when on the ground, the bird looking light brown, in flight it appears almost all white.
The diet includes insects, fish and amphibians.
They nest in small colonies, at shallow marshy lakes, ponds and rivers with reeds. The nest is usually on platforms of sticks in trees or bushes. Three or four eggs are laid.