Such a name to live up to! The Goliath Heron Ardea goliath, is the largest living heron. It stands 5 feet high, nearly as tall as me. Its wingspan can reach 7ft 6in (my arm-span is only 5ft 4in, about the same as my height).
They stalk the shallows or the weedy banks, moving with a stately, ponderous gait. They are largely solitary, and because of their size they have few predators.
This one struck at a tempting mouthful, but missed, and then in embarrassment at such a public failure, he did a sort of shimmy, stuck out his elbows and and fluffed up his gorgeous feathers:
And tried again, to no avail.
Their huge size means they can catch and, eventually, eat very large fish. Watch this video, but be warned it takes a LONG time to swallow its humongous catfish :
They have a variety of calls, described rather wonderfully by www.oiseaux-birds.com as “similar to raucous barks of an old dog. Its calls include croaks, squawks, growls and gurgles. They are mostly silent outside breeding season.” I could only find one recording, made when the bird was flying overhead in South Africa:
Happily, they are not endangered, and are found throughout sub-Saharan Africa.