The Tricolored Heron – (Egretta tricolor) – in the pictures shown above were photographed on Sanibel Island while they were walking along the ground near a fresh water lake looking for small fish to eat. The Tricolored Heron is a medium sized bird, smaller than its counterpart Blue Heron and can be distinguished by its while belly. It was formerly known as the Louisiana Heron. It is commonly seen in the Southeastern portion of the United States in coastal areas along mangrove marshes, lakes and swamps. It is also seen in inland areas along swamps. freshwater lakes and estuaries. It’s diet consists of small fish, crustaceans, frogs, salamanders, lizards and spiders and it catches its food by stabbing it with its long sharp bill.
The Heron has an impressive wing span and is pretty to watch fly. The Tricolored Heron nests in colonies in trees and mangrove forests along with other herons and wading birds. The male constructs the nest and females are attracted to the males in this way. The female lays 2-7 eggs per year and they take about 27 days to hatch with both male and female providing help with incubating the eggs. The young birds can begin to fly within 5 weeks after hatching.
I found some good information about Tricolored Herons at the Audubon Guide to North American Birds website. I also like Cornell University’s Allabout Birds website which includes audio clips of the birds’ sounds and calls.