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Tricolored Heron is standing alert | by jungle mama
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Tricolored Heron is standing alert

The Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor) formerly known in North America as the Louisiana Heron, is a small heron. It is a resident breeder from the Gulf states of the USA and northern Mexico south through Central America and the Caribbean to central Brazil and Peru. There is some post-breeding dispersal to well north of the nesting range.


Tricolored Heron's breeding habitat is sub-tropical swamps. 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 is about 56 cm (22 in) long, with a 96 cm (38 in) wingspan and weighs 350 g (12 oz). It is a medium-large, long-legged, long-necked heron with a long pointed yellowish or greyish bill with a black tip. The legs and feet are greenish yellow.


Adults have a blue-gray head, neck, back and upperwings, with a white line along the neck. The belly is white. In breeding plumage, they have long blue filamentous plumes on the head and neck, and buff ones on the back.


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


Wakodahatchee Wetlands, Delray Beach, FL

See my set, Wetlands and their inhabitants.

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Taken on February 5, 2011