The tricolored heron
was previously known as the Louisiana heron. The name was changed in 1983 by the American Ornithologist's Union because it was deemed more appropriate to eliminate local geographic names, particularly where it is found in a much larger geographic area than Louisiana. The three colors for which it is named are blue, white and red. It is primarily slate blue (blue/gray),
with a white chest and belly
and a white stripe that runs up the neck, and a red or rust-colored neck.
|Rust color on neck of tricolored heron.|
They also have a long, pointed, yellow bill and long, yellow legs. When breeding, they also have a short white head plume (that pops out a bit and looks like a mullet),
|Tricolored heron - white head plume on back of head.|
a buffy throat and fore-neck, a blue face, a blue bill tipped with black,
|Blue bill on breeding tricolored heron.|
blue filamentous plumes on the head and neck and buff ones on the back.
|White head plume and buff plume on the back of tricolored heron.|
|Buff plume on back of tricolored heron puffed out.|
Juveniles have rusty red on the neck,
|Red neck on tricolored heron.|
head, upper back and the front parts of the wings. They eat primarily fish, but also eat crustaceans, reptiles, amphibians and insects. They breed along the southeastern coast of Mexico, on the Gulf Coast, and the Atlantic Coast from New Jersey to Florida. They winter south to northern South America and the West Indies.