The great egret is a large heron with all-white plumage. Standing up to 3 1/2 feet tall, this species can measure 31 to 41 inches in length and have a wingspan of 4 to 5 1/2 feet. Body mass can range from 1.5 to 3.3 lb. It is thus only slightly smaller than the great blue or grey heron (A. cinerea). Apart from size, the great egret can be distinguished from other white egrets by its yellow bill and black legs and feet, though the bill may become darker and the lower legs lighter in the breeding season. In breeding plumage, delicate ornamental feathers are borne on the back. Males and females are identical in appearance; juveniles look like nonbreeding adults. Differentiated from the intermediate egret (Mesophoyx intermedius) by the gape, which extends well beyond the back of the eye in case of the great egret, but ends just behind the eye in case of the intermediate egret.