Around sunrise, a Tricolored Heron flew in and settled on an abandoned dock in the mitigation wetlands preserve next to our South Florida subdivision. It was too dark for decent photos, but I shot a sequence as it landed. They came out soft and blurry (ISO 1600, 1/800 sec at f/5.6) , but because the bird appeared so graceful, I could not bring myself to discard them. After much post-processing I recovered these images.
The heron then started to preen its feathers.
Here is another photo that needed "doctoring." It is actually an overlay of two photos of the same bird:
They were called "Louisiana Herons" in my early field guides, but they are not restricted to that State and they do display three prominent colors: red, white and blue. This youngster has more extensive rufous color on its neck than an adult, but it posed beautifully for me, reminding me of a John James Audubon painting!
Here is one in nice morning light:
They are common visitors to the edge of the lake at our back lawn.
Only about 20 feet away from our patio, I often must back up to include the entire bird in the viewfinder, as I do not have a zooming lens.
Insects make up a large portion of its diet. This Tricolored is stalking a Halloween Pennant dragonfly (click on photo to see location of the insect):
The heron crept stealthily towards the dragonfly, but it escaped the bird's grasp.
Video:The Tricolored Heron's foraging habits are quite distinctive:
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This video compares foraging habits of Tricolored and Little Blue Herons, side by side. Click HERE here if it does not load.