It is an all-white bird with black legs and a yellow bill and an impressive wingspan.
The Great Egret forages mostly by standing or walking in shallow water, waiting for fish to come near, then catching them with rapid thrust of bill. It also forages in open fields, sometimes around cattle. Aside from fish, it also eats crustaceans, frogs, salamanders, snakes, aquatic insects. In open fields it may catch grasshoppers, rodents. It has been seen catching small rails and other birds.