43-48 cm, medium sized heron like birds, long straight pointed bill, long slender neck, long protruding tail. Legs and feet are orange yellow. Head is black with two white stripes above and below the eye. Throat is white, neck and breast brown with fine black stripes. Tail is gray and white with two broad black bands. When folded, the wings match the cryptic coloration of the back which has blackish stripes and stripes of olive, gray, and white. When open the wings appear large. The top surface of each wing has a large chestnut colored patch on a yellowish background (spots may resemble eyes to a predator).