For the last few days, we’ve had a very active Tricolored Heron feeding in the salt pannes right next to our salt marsh trail and walkway. Though these medium-sized herons are more common farther south, they do breed in small numbers in our area – about the northernmost extent of their range. They breed in dense vegetation in areas of higher ground – preferably on islands, if they’re available – and they’ll share these sites with other herons and egrets, multiple species nesting near each other in large colonies.
Tricolored Herons are skilled hunters, stalking and chasing small fish or standing stock-still and waiting for prey to swim into range, drawing their necks in and executing lighting-fast strikes. Their feeding style is more active than most herons, involving dancing, quick precision turns, and much flapping of wings. They also often draw their wings up and over their heads, creating shadowy areas to entice unsuspecting fish to their dooms!
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