Tricolored Heron in breeding plumage with prey

Tricolored Heron in breeding plumage with prey Tricolored Heron in breeding plumage with prey – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/750, ISO 250, Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 300mm, natural light, not baited

Just a simple image of a Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor) in breeding plumage with a small fish in its bill. The heron provided its own bait naturally by capturing it in the Gulf of Mexico.

While in breeding plumage Tricolored Herons have redder legs, darker red eyes, blue lores and blue on the bill plus a longer, white occipital plume than they do during the nonbreeding season. I’ve added no saturation to this image, these are the natural colors.

Image taken in 2009 at Fort De Soto’s north beach.


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About Mia McPherson

I am a nature lover, wildlife watcher and a bird photographer. I first become serious about bird photography when I moved to Florida in 2004 and it wasn’t long before I was hooked (addicted is more like it). My move to the Salt Lake area of Utah was a great opportunity to continue observing their behavior and to pursue my passion for photographing birds.


  1. Found your site via Bob Bushnell’s blog and am glad I did. I love herons (we have great blue herons here) and photographing them so I really enjoy seeing so many other varieties of them. This is great!

  2. Pingback: Tricolored Heron – Up close | Mia McPherson's On The Wing Photography

  3. “Simple” image – it’s beautiful! I had no idea they developed those blues. And the wispy “grandfather” curls on the back of its head – so cool.

  4. I love this photo. Ardeidae is my favorite family. I’ve never seen a Tricolored Heron. Your photo is making me think I need to make it a priority.

  5. I was close to Fort De Soto but at that time I still didn’t have a blog yet. It seems to be a true birder’s paradise You nailed it so well again!

  6. Lovely capture of a most beautiful bird!

  7. Merrill Ann Gonzales

    I never realized how bright that blue was on their face. Many thanks for this shot. :-)

  8. Beautiful capture! I love the colors of a Tricolored Heron in breeding plumage.

  9. Quite simply gorgeous!

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