Tag Archives: Tricolored Heron

~For the Love of Herons-Tricolored~

Back to Myakka River State Park for this post…

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With one last opportunity to observe the beautiful Myakka River and the numerous birds that visit this area, we stood on a bridge and looked out across the water. I knew, for this winter season, it would be my last visit to Myakka River State Park. I fell in love with this state park and this spot on the bridge.

The next morning we were leaving and I remember feeling sad. My photos of this Tricolored Heron were taken on this evening.

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The Tricolored heron, formerly known as Louisiana Heron, is truly gorgeous The name tricolored refers to the dark upperparts, white underparts, and the reddish brown stripes on the fore neck. You will often see this heron wading out into a salt marsh belly deep; deeper than most other herons.

 

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The heron was running back and forth stirring the water hoping to scare up something to eat.  He didn’t know it, but he was entertaining us with his actions.

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By this time the sun was setting and the light was fading. The heron seemed to become more frantic trying to catch something to eat before nightfall. It was getting harder to capture sharp shots, but it sure was fun trying. Several times he would run, stop and lift his wings over his head!

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Thank you Tricolored for giving me a wonderful experience, making me smile and lifting my sadness. I hope to see you again when we return to Myakka River.

 

Until next time…

~Friday’s Feathered Friend~ (Tricolored Heron)

~Tricolored Heron – slate-gray upper parts, white underparts, long yellowish bill with dark tip, reddish brown streaks on fore neck, dull yellow long legs

Added to my Birding Life List on April 14, 1993

White breeding plumage, white belly, reddish brown streaks on foreneck
Slate-gray upper parts, white belly, reddish brown streaks on foreneck

Interesting Facts:

~Tricolored refers to the dark upper parts, white underparts and the reddish brown strips on the fore neck

~The Tricolored Heron measures about 26 inches long and weighs 13 ounces, with a 36-inch wingspan

~The only heron with a dark body and white belly

~One of the most abundant herons found in the Deep South

~Formerly called the Louisiana Heron

~In breeding plumage there are white plumes on the back of the lower neck, crown and back

~Stalks its prey in shallow or deeper water, goes deeper out in the water than other herons

"Do you see my breeding white plumes?"
“Do you see my white plumes?”

Breeding and Nesting: Three or four light blue green eggs are laid on a platform nest made of stems and twigs, occasionally lined with grass; nests in mixed-species rookeries on coastal islands, although some may nest in swamp forests. Both parents incubate eggs for about 21 days.

Long yellowish legs, long dagger bill with black tip
Long yellowish legs, long dagger bill with black tip

Range and Habitat: Breeds in southeastern New Mexico and Texas, on the Gulf Coast, and along the Atlantic coast north to southern Maine (rarely). Spends winters along the coast from Texas and New Jersey south to northern South America and West Indies. Preferred habitats include swamps, bayous, coastal ponds, salt marshes, mangrove islands, mudflats, and lagoons.

Peek-A-Boo
Peek-A-Boo

I captured these photos on March 9, 2014 while staying at Meaher State Park in Spanish Fort, Alabama. He was hunting along the shore of the Bay. The entire time he was searching for food one of the two resident alligators was slowly swimming toward him. I don’t know what I would have done if the alligator got close enough to strike – scare the heron away or let nature take its course.

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Just as I am! Every Friday you may participate in Feathers on Friday at Prairie Birder.

Here is Charlotte’s Blog web-site:

http://prairiebirder.wordpress.com

This is another great Blog to learn about Birds!

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Enjoy Birdwatching!

It can be entertaining as well as educational!

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Note:Some of my information for this post was taken from Field Guide to Birds of North America, Smithsonian Handbook, Birds of North America and Cornell Lad of Ornithology and their website All About Birds.