Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Magnifying the passion for nature. Zeiss Victory Harpia 95. New!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Personal tools
Main Categories

Tricolored Heron

From Opus

Photo © by mw_aurora Sanibel Island, Florida
Photo © by mw_aurora
Sanibel Island, Florida

Alternative name: Louisiana Heron

Egretta tricolor


[edit] Identification

50–76 cm (19¾-30 in)

  • Blue-grey head, neck, back and upperwings
  • White line along the neck
  • White belly
  • Long pointed yellowish or greyish bill with a black tip
  • Legs and feet are dark


  • Long blue filamentous plumes on the head and neck
  • White plumes on nape
  • Buff plumes on the back
  • Bluish bill with black tip
  • Pinkish legs

[edit] Distribution

Breeds on the east coast of North America from New Jersey to Florida and the Gulf Coast, and on both coasts of Mexico south to Panama. In South America breeds coastally south to northern Peru on the Pacific coast and the Amazon on the Atlantic coast. Also breeds on the Greater Antilles.

Northern birds are migratory and becomes more widespread on the Gulf Coast and throughout the West Indies. Post-breeding dispersal has taken birds north to New Brunswick and Ontario and a rare but regular visitor to southern California.

Photo © by onlybillSurfside, Texas, September 2008
Photo © by onlybill
Surfside, Texas, September 2008

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

There are 2 subspecies[1]:

  • E. t. ruficollis (occidentalis):
  • E. t. tricolor: smaller; has a chestnut rather than white foreneck stripe

[edit] Habitat

Mainly coastal, found in shallow lagoons and on tidal mudflats and estuaries, mangroves and commonly in freshwater swamps in Florida.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Movement

Often runs when hunting prey in water

[edit] Diet

The diet includes fish, crustaceans, reptiles and insects.

[edit] Breeding

Colonial nester, often with other heron species. Platform nests are built of sticks in trees or shrubs around swamps. Normal clutch size is 3-7 eggs.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. BF Member observations

[edit] External Links


Opticron - NEW DBA VHD+ 8x42, 10x42. Prices from £579

Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.25277805 seconds with 8 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 05:38.