Bird’s ID – Tricolored Heron

Tricolored Heron


The Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor), formerly known as the Louisiana Heron, is a small species of heron that is native to coastal parts of the Americas. In the Atlantic region in ranges from the northeastern United States, south along the coast, through the Mexican Gulf and the Caribbean, to northern South America as far south as Brazil. In the Pacific region, it ranges from Peru to California, but it is only a non-breeding visitor to the far north.

Tricolored herons breed in swamps and other coastal habitats. It nests in colonies, often with other herons, usually on platforms of sticks in trees or shrubs. In each clutch, 3–7 eggs are typically laid.

This species measures from 56 to 76 cm (22 to 30 in) long and has a wingspan of 96 cm (38 in). The slightly larger male heron weighs 415 g (14.6 oz) on average, while the female averages 334 g (11.8 oz). It is a medium-large, long-legged, long-necked heron with a long pointed yellowish or grayish bill with a black tip. The legs and feet are dark.

Adults have a blue-grey head, neck, back, and upper wings, with a white line along the neck. The belly is white. Inbreeding plumage, they have long blue filamentous plumes on the head and neck, and buff ones on the back.

The tricolored heron stalks its prey in shallow or deeper water, often running as it does so. It eats fish, crustaceans, reptiles, and insects.


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© HJ Ruiz – Avian101

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