Tricolored Heron Egretta tricolor


Tricolored Heron is a resident of coastal wetlands with lesser numbers occurring inland. It is most common in estuaries, bay margins, brackish marshes, and tidal pools. This medium-sized (66 cm length) heron is often seen in belly-deep water catching killifishes and other small prey such as frogs, crustaceans and insects. The plumage is mostly blue-gray above and white on the belly. The front of the neck is white; the sides of the neck may be gray or purple. Breeding birds have fine buffy plumes on the back and neck, and elongated crown plumes, as do many other egrets. The bill is slender and noticeably long; during the nesting season it is tinted blue at the base. Tricolored Herons build stick nests in mixed colonies of large waders. They’ll nest in a variety of trees and close to or on the ground or vegetation at the water’s surface. A typical clutch is 3-4 eggs and is incubated by both parents.

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© Gerrit Vyn

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: