The least bittern is a very small wading bird that is 11-14 inches in length with a wingspan of 16-18 inches. It has a dark brown or black crown and back, an orange-brown neck and sides, a white chin, and an orange and white striped throat and breast. It has white stripes on its sides and yellow-gold patches on its wings that are visible when it is in flight. It has a pointed yellow bill, yellow eyes, and long legs that are green in the front and yellow in the back. Males and females look alike, but the female is a little duller in color.