Florida Birds – Tricolored Heron

Tricolored heron

Tricolored heron

The Tricolored heron, (Egretta tricolor)  formally called the Louisiana heron is a medium sized bird, about two feet tall, and is usually found along the Gulf Coast States from Florida to Texas. It does breed and live in New England states as well. The Tricolored heron is distinguished from the Great Blue heron and Little Blue heron by it’s white belly and long white stripe down it’s neck. It inhabits freshwater and salt water areas looking for small fish like minnows, killifish and insects to eat. It can be seen in freshwater marshes and  swamps, and salt water mangroves and beaches at low tide. It walks or runs along the shallow water looking for it’s prey.  I took this picture at Bunche Beach which is popular for wildlife photographers. Bunche Beach is a popular place to see SW Florida birds because of it’s combination of tidal flats and brackish water mangrove areas where birds nest and breed. Bunche Beach is also popular for sunbathers and a place to catch great views of Estero Island, Pine Island Sound and passing boats.  Visit the websites of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology All About Birds or the Audubon Society to see other pictures of the Tricolored heron and it’s history.

 

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