The tricolored heron is also known as the "Louisiana heron," and
while it is one of the most common herons along the Gulf Coast
(the hat makers were, fortunately, never very interested in its
feathers), it is also found along most of the East Coast.
The white stripe running down the front of the neck is a characteristic marking of the tricolor. The bill has often a dark coloring toward the tip. When challenging a rival, the tricolor's neck feathers become so ruffled that they have been compared to a feather boa. These herons grow to about thirty inches in height.
This heron spends the winter from Virginia southward to South
America. The females breed once a year and have been known to lay
up to seven blue-green eggs in their nests of twigs and plants.
The nests are built in trees, high bushes, and sometimes among
reeds. The eggs hatch in a little over three weeks.
Tricolor herons dine on fish, insects, and frogs. Sometimes when
they sense danger nearby in the reeds or high grasses, they may
conceal themselves by standing erect with their bills pointed
toward the sky (rather than flying off right away), hoping perhaps, to blend in better with their surroundings.
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