Crouching Tricolored HeronCrouching Tricolored Heron – Nikon D200, handheld, f7.1, 1/500, ISO 160, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light, not baited

Tricolored Herons use many foraging behaviors to obtain their prey including walking quickly then crouching before stabbing their prey. For some reason when I see this behavior I think of a crouching tiger even though herons are birds not tigers.

Crouched Tricolored HeronCrouched Tricolored Heron – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/1600, ISO 250, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 330mm, natural light, not baited

When I was in Florida I observed the crouching behavior in Tricolored Herons on the Gulf shore more often than when I saw them foraging in tidal lagoons. That might be because the wave action of the Gulf of Mexico pushes small bait fish towards the shore making their prey more available and in tidal lagoons the waves are smaller and the water is often calmer.

These crouching Tricolored Herons were photographed about a month and a half apart in nearly the same location at Fort De Soto County Park’s north beach. It is possible that the images are of the same heron but it is also possible that they are two different birds.