The Goliath Heron is the largest heron in the world, with a height between 50 – 60 inches, wingspan of 73 – 91 inches, and a weight of up to 11 pounds. The females tend to be smaller in size with smaller bills.
They tend to be a very sedentary birds. They fly slowly with their feet held at an angle in contrast to other heron species which hold their legs horizontally. They are inactive hunters and will stand in water for up to an hour waiting for potential prey to come to them.
Breeding normally begins at the start of the rainy season. The birds are mostly silent except during breeding season where they make a variety of noises including squawks, croaks, gurgles, and growls.
They make large nests from sticks, normally located in trees overhanging water locations. The average clutch is about 2-5 pale blue eggs. Both parents tend the nest with the first egg normally getting the most attention. This seems to lead to size differences within the hatchlings which can be fatal for the smallest. The incubation period ranges from 24 – 30 days, with the hatchlings able to leave the nest after about five weeks. Both parents will continue to take care of the baby birds anywhere from 40 – 80 days.