The lava heron bird inhabits the intertidal zone and the mangrove areas, feeding at the open shoreline by diving into the water. Apart from crab and fish, it also eats insects, lizards and eggs. Its colors help them to blend in with the rocks in order to hunt. It can grow up to 35cm when standing and weight 240g.
This endemic bird is an opportunistic breeder, although it usually reproduces in the months of September to March. They lay from 1 to 3 eggs in random safe areas of the lowlands that take around 22 days to hatch. When entering the breeding season, they change their body colors to brighter ones, especially their feet and head; the rest of the year they are mostly pale grey.
This bird does not fly much, preferring to walk and jump along the feeding areas. They protect their territory by chasing intruders and making loud noises.