The Tricolored Heron

Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor)
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, FL; FEB 2020

The Tricolored Heron is an amazingly beautiful, small heron – up to 30” tall. They are found, year-round in Florida and along the US Gulf Coast. During nonbreeding periods, they can also be found along the Pacific Coast of Southern California and Mexico as well as parts of Central America. They breed in areas of North Florida. They like the coastal estuaries, saltmarshes, mangrove forests and lagoons.

Tricolored Herons prefer to eat fish from brackish waters. They stalk and attack like other herons and egrets with a few minor uniqueness’s. They nest in colonies with other herons and egrets.

All About Birds from Cornell Labs posted an interesting observation about the Tricolored Heron: “Angsty teenagers aren’t just a human phenomenon. As Tricolored Herons get older they often lunge and snap at their parents when they arrive at the nest with food. To appease the youngsters, parents greet them with bows.”

I was amazed when I first saw one of these birds. I think all herons and egrets are beautiful but, for me, this one tops the list.

Note: Click on caption to see image at higher resolution.

Tricolored Heron;
Harns Marsh, Fort Meyers, FL; FEB 2020
Tricolored Heron;
J N “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge; FEB 2020
Tricolored Heron;
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, FL; FEB 2020
Tricolored Heron;
Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Titusville, FL; FEB 2020

Please visit my website, www.earthwatcher.us to see my collection of landscapes and wildlife.

These and other images are available to purchase by contacting larry.klink@earthwatcher.us.

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