When people meet famous people, or see them in the street for that matter, they often say they thought said famous person would be taller. I guess its an optical illusion caused by the flattering angles used on tv. I had a similar reaction when I recently saw my first Green Heron. As I haven't spent much time in the states I haven't really read much about US species but it was a bird I recognised because a lot of birders have taken very good photos of it on account of its convenient habit (like all herons) of standing still. So I recognised it but, well, I thought it would be taller.
After my lame attempts at stalking the heron to get close enough to use the simple camera set up I had with me failed (try stalking something stood in a concrete storm drain - no chance!). Luckily he obviosuly didn't want to give up his fishing hole so he jus tflew up to the fence where I took the snap shot above. The wire gauge is an excellent scaling tool to show just how small these birds are. When you consider that there are smaller herons still in the americas -
(Least Bittern anyone?) the diversity is mindblowing for those of us who historically had 2 native herons (although with cattle and little egret both now breeding we have 4).