Notable features of great blue herons include slaty flight feathers, red-brown thighs, and a paired red-brown and black stripe up the flanks. Their neck is rusty-gray, with black and white streaking down the front and their head is paler, with a nearly white face, and a pair of black or slate plumes runs from just above the eye to the back of the head.
The feathers on the lower neck are long and plume-like; it also has plumes on the lower back at the start of the breeding season. The bill is dull yellowish, becoming orange briefly at the start of the breeding season, and the lower
I understand there's an all-white population found only in south Florida and the Florida Keys is known as the great white heron but I have yet to see one. Debate exists about whether it is a white color morph of the great blue heron, a subspecies of it, or an entirely separate species.