It is the smallest ardeidae weighing between 60 and 150g. Lives in bedreeds and highly vegetated shores.
If it is still listed LC (minor concern) in the status of UICN preservation, it is in severe decline in Europe due to the reduction of the swampy areas: the national population in France is considered to be between 500 and 800 pairs only.
The species is migratory and the populations flying to Europe go back to eastern Africa to winter with the exception of the sub-Saharan ones which are sedentary.
Monogamous and territorial these small herons can flock together in reduced numbers at migratory times.