Bird of the Week: Tricolored Heron

TEN FACTS ABOUT Tricolored Heron

1. While there is no universal agreement as to what three colors define the Tricolored Heron; the one color that everyone agrees on is white – which is the color of the bird’s belly, underwings and neck.

2. As for the other two colors, most consider the head, neck, back, and wings to be some combination of blue-gray with hints of reddish-purple.


3. The coloring of the Tricolored Heron’s plumage is most profound while breeding, during this period the bird’s usually orange-colored facial skin turns bright, sky blue, and it’s like legs turn pinkish.


4. Tricolored Heron primarily eat small fish, though they have been observed eating small crustaceans, aquatic insects, and amphibians.

 Tricolored Heron Foraging

Tricolored Heron Foraging


5. Tricolored Heron are versatile foragers – at times they hunt like most herons, by patiently stalking their prey, but sometimes they actively chase prey by running, turning, and even jumping while in pursuit.


6. When Tricolored Heron stalk prey, they crouch belly-deep in water, tuck their neck in, and then quickly stab prey with their dagger-like bill.


7. Tricolored Heron often forage alone, but in close proximity to groups of wading birds.


8. Despite solidarity foraging preferences, Tricolored Heron nest in colonies with other species of heron and egret.


9. In the United States the Triclored Heron is most prevalent in southern coastal waters like saltmarshes, mangroves, and lagoons. Breeding birds are almost always found near salt water, while non-breeding birds are sometimes found in freshwater marshes and lakes.


10.The Tricolored Heron is also known as the Louisiana Heron, it is prevalent in the state’s numerous saltmarshes.


Tricolored Heron T-Shirt