Hancock and Kushlan call their most frequent form of prey catching behavior a "walk-quickly-running-open wing tactile sequence" (Hancock & Kushlan, 1984). In this foraging method they rush quickly through the water with the wings spread similar to Snowy Egrets. Another frequently seen method is a low deep crouch at the edge of the water with the breast and neck low to the water and strike almost horizontally at fish or tadpoles near the surface. After a few strikes in one area, they will fly to a new location. Tricolored herons will also stand in shallow water to find and catch prey. In another technique they raise one wing and hold the head partially under the wing. To a casual observer this technique can sometimes appear as if the heron is inspecting or preening under the wing rather than foraging. It may be that this technique allows the heron to shade the water surface allowing it better vision. These herons also use a foot-stirring technique when foraging. They extend one foot and vibrate it to create a stirring motion to cause the fish to move.
The Tricoloured Heron has been recorded gleaning insects (dragonflies and grasshoppers)
amid vegetation. It slowly stalks the insect with the head retracted and then with a quick
dart of the head, strikes the insect.
Family - Herons
Local Names - Trinidad Heron, Louisiana Heron, Red Necked Heron
Latin Name - Egretta tricolor
Range - Breeds in the Greater Antilles, the Bahamas, and some of the eastern Caribbean islands; and along the coast of North America from southern Maine to northeastern Mexico, and from the Gulf of California to El Salvador. In South America the Tricolored Heron breeds on both coasts of Colombia, south to the mouth of the Amazon, and on the Pacific coast south to Peru.
Wild Fowl Trust, Pointe-A-Pierre, Trinidad
Bon Accord, Tobago
The Birds of Wakodahatchee Wetlands at http://www.pbcwater.com/wakodahatchee/Tricolored_Heron.htm
Birds of Nova Scotia. Robie W. Tufts. 1986 - http://museum.gov.ns.ca/mnh/nature/nsbirds/bns0036.htm
LaLonde, N. 2003. "Egretta tricolor" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. at http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Egretta_tricolor.html.
National Audubon Society North Carolina Sanctuaries, 2000. "Tricolored Heron" (On-line). Colonial Waterbirds of North Carolina. at http://www.audubon.org/chapter/nc/nc/wb_17.html.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology, All About Birds, at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/programs/AllAboutBirds/BirdGuide/Tricolored_Heron.html
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Birds of the World, David Alderton. 2004 Lorenz Books, London
Birds of Venezuela. Steven L. Hilty. 2003, Christopher Helm, London
A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago. 2nd edition, Richard ffrench. 1992, Helm, London
E. Scott Clarke, 1979. Louisiana Herons Gleaning Dragonflies. The Auk Vol. 97, 400 - 401
David E. Willard, 1977. The Feeding Ecology and Behavior of Five Species of Herons in SouthEastern New Jersey. The Condor, Vol. 79, 462 - 470
Cristina Ramo & Benjamin Busto, 1993. Resource Use by Herons in a Yucatan Wetland during the Breeding Season. Wilson Bulletin, Vol. 105, 573 - 586.
Andrew J Meyerriecks, 1959. Foot-Stirring Feeding Behavior in Herons. Wilson Bulletin, Vol. 71, 153 - 158
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