Tricolored Heron striking at prey

/, Florida, Fort De Soto County Park, Tricolored Herons/Tricolored Heron striking at prey

Tricolored Splash Down

Tricolored heron striking at prey – Nikon D200, handheld, f6.3, 1/1000, ISO 200, Nikkor 80-400mm VR at 400mm, natural light

This Tricolored Heron image has always intrigued and amused me. I’m amused because I caught the moment just before the Tricolored Heron’s head submerged under the water and that I still managed to get eye contact, I am intrigued by how these herons evolved to have long necks that give them the ability to make lightning fast strikes at their prey some distance from their bodies. This Tricolored Heron had been slowly walking when it spotted its prey and struck at it. The heron missed the prey with this attempt but caught quite a few as the heron hunted close to me while I photographed it in a quiet lagoon in Florida.



  1. Julie Brown January 4, 2013 at 7:35 am

    Great timing getting it at maximum stretch, as well as the eye contact. The relative stillness of the water around the bird is pretty amazing too.

    • Mia McPherson January 6, 2013 at 3:12 pm

      Thanks Julie, I love the still water combined with the strike too.

  2. Subra January 3, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Excellent shot, particularly the reflection symmetry!

    • Mia McPherson January 6, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      Thank you very much Subra, and thank you for visiting my blog.

  3. Bryce Robinson January 3, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    What an image! I love your heron shots Mia. Makes me a bit jealous, but I’m so thankful for the chance to see such striking captures. Keep sharing!

    • Mia McPherson January 6, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      Thank you Bryce, I was so lucky living in Florida for five years to get so many heron shots! Fortunately I can take some of them here in Utah too.

  4. Sherry in MT January 3, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    I also love the little blip of water – shows the movement of the strike.

    • Mia McPherson January 6, 2013 at 3:09 pm

      Thanks Sherry, I like that splash of water too

  5. Carol MATTINGLY January 3, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    I love heron images, such different looking birds.

    • Mia McPherson January 6, 2013 at 3:07 pm

      Thank you Carol, they are fascinating looking birds.

  6. Merrill Ann Gonzales January 3, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    Hi, Mia, This photo creates such an urge in me to create a comic strip of your tricolored heron’s life along the shore! Your shot really had me not only laughing but also enjoying the wonder…as you say of their evolution and ability to navigate the vicissitudes of life.

    • Mia McPherson January 6, 2013 at 3:07 pm

      Merrill, a comic strip using wading birds would be great fun because they have so much character!

  7. Susan January 3, 2013 at 6:27 am

    Simply awesome:)

  8. Bob Bushell January 3, 2013 at 6:07 am

    Gorgeous shot Mia.

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