Species Identification - Birds

Tri-Colored Heron- Egretta tricolor

Family: Ardeidae


Smaller than the Great Blue Heron (46”) and the Great Egret (39”), the Tricolored Heron has a length of 26” and a wingspan of 36”. It has a white belly and foreneck and dark blue upper parts with shades of brown or rust. It is often seen with its neck in an S-shape and can sometimes be seen wading alone in shallow water, running after prey. It has a long pointed yellow bill with a black tip; its legs and feet are dark. The Tricolored Heron was formerly known as the Louisiana Heron because it resides and breeds in the Gulf States. It breeds in colonies in sub-tropical swamps on platforms of sticks in trees or shrubs, often with other herons.

Range: Inhabits salt marshes and mangrove swamps of the east and Gulf coasts. Rare inland.

Photos by Carl Berube

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