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Tricolored Heron

Silhouette HeronsHerons
Tricolored HeronEgretta tricolor
  • ORDER: Pelecaniformes
  • FAMILY: Ardeidae

Basic Description

The Tricolored Heron is a sleek and slender heron adorned in blue-gray, lavender, and white. The white stripe down the middle of its sinuous neck and its white belly set it apart from other dark herons. This fairly small heron wades through coastal waters in search of small fish, often running and stopping with quick turns and starts, as if dancing in a ballet. It builds stick nests in trees and shrubs, often in colonies with other wading birds. It’s common in southern saltmarshes and was once known as the Louisiana Heron.

More ID Info
image of range map for Tricolored Heron
Range map provided by Birds of the World
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Find This Bird

Coastal estuaries are a great place to look for Tricolored Herons year-round. They tend to feed alone or at the edge of groups of other waders, so be sure to look at the lone dark bird in the corner. They also forage more commonly in open water and pools than Snowy Egrets and Little Blue Herons. Their white belly readily separates them from Little Blue Herons and Reddish Egrets, and their active foraging style separates them from the slow and methodical Great Blue Heron.

Other Names

  • Garceta Tricolor (Spanish)
  • Aigrette tricolore (French)
  • Cool Facts