Tricolored heron

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Tricolored heron
Tricolored Heron Wading.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Ardeidae
Genus: Egretta
E. tricolor
Binomial name
Egretta tricolor
Egretta tricolor map.svg
Range of E. tricolor      Breeding range     Year-round range     Wintering range

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 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).[2] The slightly larger male heron weighs 415 g (14.6 oz) on average, while the female averages 334 g (11.8 oz).[3] 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 dark.

Adults have a blue-grey 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.

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



  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Egretta tricolor". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ "Tricolored Heron". All About Birds. Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
  3. ^ "Biological and Ecotoxicological Characteristics of Terrestrial Vertebrate Species Residing in Estuaries: Tricolored Heron". USGS.
  • Hilty, Steven L. (2003). Birds of Venezuela. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5.
  • Field Guide to the Birds of North America. National Geographic. ISBN 0-7922-6877-6.
  • Stiles, F. Gary; Skutch, Alexander F. (1989). A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica. Comstock Publishing Associates. ISBN 0-8014-9600-4.

External links[edit]