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Bird Spotlight: Tricolored Heron

Formerly known as the Louisiana Heron, the Tricolored Heron is a slender heron that is medium in size. It's home is the southeastern portion of the United States, more specifically Louisiana. You can always tell the Tricolored Heron apart from others because it has dark back and neck and a white belly, much like a penguin! The neck and bill are long and thin and the younger herons are more red in color.

Tricolored Herons live in marshy areas and feed off of fish. More specifically, the herons eat small estuarine and marsh fishes. They nest in trees and their sound resembles a soft, nasal moaning.

Fortunately, these herons are plentiful and not near extinction, as many other bird species are along the Coast. In fact, before the arrival of the Cattle Egret in the 1950s, the Tricolored Heron was the most numerous heron in the U.S. That said, the numbers are slowly declining as a whole.

These herons are the most studied American herons and their breeding behaviors are well-documented. Surprisingly, little is known about the Tricolored Herons that exist in the Caribbean and Central and South Americas.

Source: The Birds of North America All About Birds

Image: flickr.com

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