Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor) in Breeding Plumage

/, Florida, Fort De Soto County Park, Pinellas County, Tricolored Herons/Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor) in Breeding Plumage

Some images remind me of the wonderful day I had when I created a certain image, this photo of a Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor) in breeding plumage photographed at the north beach of Fort De Soto, Florida is one of those files.

Tricolored Heron in breeding plumageTricolored Heron in breeding plumage – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/640, ISO 200, Nikkor 70-300mm VR at 220mm, natural light

On the day I photographed this heron there was a sea fog that burned off very rapidly once the warmth of the sun’s rays touched it. I was in great company, Adrian Burke and I had met at the north beach parking lot and there were birds, birds and more birds that day. Even though I have culled many bad images from the folder for that date it is still brimming with images I haven’t yet processed.

I was sitting in water up to my bum in the middle of a small tidal lagoon when the Tricolored walked by, it was stalking prey on the shoreline and not paying much attention to me at all. I like how it looks like the heron is trying to sneak past me in this frame even though I know it could have cared less about the sopping wet person with one big eye watching it walk by.

This was taken right at the end of the photo session and it was a great feeling to have filled almost all of my memory cards… and the memories in my mind of that morning too.

Good light. Good Birds. Great company, what more could this woman ask for?



  1. ANN GINSBURG October 13, 2012 at 10:02 am


    • Mia McPherson October 13, 2012 at 10:26 am

      Ann, I have photographed Green Herons but haven’t posted any here on my blog. My photo gallery pages do have some though.

  2. Susan May 15, 2012 at 10:30 am

    Fantastic photo Mia, and great memory. Thanks for sharing:)

  3. Tammy Karr May 14, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    The Tricolored Heron’s breeding plumage is one of my favorites! I love the crimson legs. Great capture of this one in action!

    • Mia McPherson May 23, 2012 at 5:05 pm

      Thanks so much Tammy, you get to see them far more often than I do now but I agree that their breeding plumage is one of my favorites too.

  4. Prairie Birder May 14, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    So beautiful, Mia! You captured this photo so well, and you can definitely see why it is called a Tricolored Heron.

    • Mia McPherson May 23, 2012 at 5:04 pm

      Thank you PrairieBirder, Tricolored Herons are wonderful.

  5. Laurence Butler May 14, 2012 at 12:00 pm

    Exquisite! Such incredible colors in these birds. It’s especially incredible how the skin changes color too, not just the feathers.
    Great photo

    • Mia McPherson May 23, 2012 at 5:03 pm

      Laurence, birds are so amazing, I’m always in awe of things like the breeding/nonbreeding changes. Thank you for this comment.

  6. Carol Mattingly May 14, 2012 at 11:49 am

    His stance is great. He pulls you right in to the whole setting as does your words. Love this image Mia. Carol

    • Mia McPherson May 23, 2012 at 5:02 pm

      Thank you very much carol, I’m glad my images & words pull you in.

  7. Robert Mortensen May 14, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Fantastic and eye-maintaining image Mia!

    • Mia McPherson May 23, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      Thank you Robert, it was a gorgeous bird.

  8. Dave Sparks May 14, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Wonderful pose, terrific techs.

  9. Julie G. May 14, 2012 at 7:39 am

    I love how photographs bring back memories. Stunning image! I’ve never seen a Tri-colored Heron in breeding plumage before. Very beautiful, indeed!

    • Mia McPherson May 23, 2012 at 5:00 pm

      Thanks Julie, I know my photos bring back such delightful memories for me, I just love that.

  10. Bob Zeller May 14, 2012 at 5:32 am

    It looks like you had it all that day. Wonderful photo of a wonderful subject.

    • Mia McPherson May 23, 2012 at 4:59 pm

      Bob, I did have it all that day, good light, great birds and super company! Thank you for commenting.

  11. Kathleen Finnerty May 14, 2012 at 4:37 am

    You’re right, Mia – what more could you ask for!? I love the body stance – it really does look like he’s trying to sneak past you. I don’t think I’ve seen tri-coloreds looking any different than this – do their legs just get pinker?

    • Mia McPherson May 23, 2012 at 4:58 pm

      Kathy, in non-breeding plumage the legs of a tricolored are not this red, the bill isn’t as blue either. In breding or non-breeding plumage Tricolored Herons are striking! Thanks for your comment.

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