Fingers (Preferably 2 hands' worth)
Paper (Preferably square, or can be cut to be square)
Patience for the first one, after that it gets easy.
(*Sorry for the bad .GIF image, It's the best I could do with the heron needing 2 hands)
Step 1: Shaping Paper and Preliminary Creases
To make the preliminary folds, crease the other diagonal in the same way as you made the first crease. Turn the square over and crease centre lines by folding the paper in half both ways. unfold again.
Step 2: The Base
Make sure your page has the same orientation as mine with "mountains" to the page corners and "valleys" vertically and horizontally with the centre point pushed down.
Slowly lift all of the corners together above the centre point. This should form an "X" cross-section. Flatten this shape to make a diamond with 2 flaps under left and right corners.
Fold bottom flap edges to the new centre line. fold the top triangle over to the back of the shape. Unfold to the diamond again and repeat last 2 instructions on back side. You now have the important creases for the next big step.
Lift the first layer of the bottom corner up as shown and press flat once it looks like mine. Flip the page over and repeat last instruction on that side. You now have the correct base.
Step 3: The Head and Neck
Step 4: The Legs/Tail End
Step 5: Finishing Up
If you open the wings from the top, you'll see a triangle sticking out. To hide it, simply fold it over to one side and tuck it into the gap between its own base and the one wing.
To allow this model to have flapping wings, add light creases where shown in the 4th last step. Hold onto the bases of the leg and the neck and rotate them towards each other WITHOUT pulling the 2 sides apart, that would split the heron and you'd have to do it all over again.
COMPLETE AT LAST!
I have also folded a few regular origami cranes but I think this one looks nicer than most because it does not have a paper square on its back. Happy Folding!