Thursday, July 13, 2017

Tricolored Heron: Beauty and grace

One benefit of living on a lake in south Florida is that the shoreline serves as the stage for some wonderful performances. Here, the lake is calm as storm clouds gain strength in the northwest behind our home:

 Monaco Cove CROP3 HDR COREL 20141229

Tricolored Heron at Green Cay preserve, Boynton Beach, Florida:

Tricolored Heron at Green Cay 20131210

Although they are slender, stand over 2 feet tall (60-70 cm) and have a three foot (91 cm) wingspan, Tricolored Herons weigh less than a pound (334-415 gm). 

Warning: "Objects in your binoculars are much smaller than they look." This truism comes home to anyone who has picked up a window-killed warbler or released a banded chickadee. Birds are like puff-balls of feathers and fluff, skin and bones. 

The warning changes to "Objects may not fit in your viewfinder" if you add the very long legs and the skinny snake-like neck of a Tricolored Heron.

Back yard view:

Tricolored Heron 03-20160519

John James Audubon's herons stand out magnificently in his "Birds of America" double elephant folio. Since Audubon's bird paintings were all life-size, he contorted the images of herons in order to fit them within the dimensions of the portfolio's pages, which measured about 3 by 2 feet (0.9 by 0.6 meters) .   

Here is his rendition of the "Louisiana Heron," now known as Tricolored Heron, from  Biodiversity Heritage Library  (FLICKR Creative Commons, some rights reserved)


Many of my heron photos were taken at close range in our Florida back yard. The subjects were often only about 50-60 feet away. Since I use a prime telephoto lens they commonly do not fit into the frame even if I back up against the back wall of our home. Unless the heron assumes an Audubon-like posture, my choice is to cut off either its legs or head!

A preening heron does fit the camera's frame:

Tricolored Heron preening HDR  20150722

Tricolored Heron immature 6-20140818

Tricolored Heron 20150602

An immature Tricolored Heron crouches for the kill:

Tricolored Heron immature 2-20130721

Audubon usually painted from freshly collected specimens, often posturing them with wires. He introduced action and excitement into many of his works. Sometimes his herons seemed surrealistically  expressive. 

An immature Tricolored Heron sought (without success) to be fed by its parent, chasing it across the lake and to the near shore:

 Tricolored Heron imm chases adult 06-20170612

The contortions of the energetic young bird reminded me of the way the great painter arranged his subjects:

Tricolored Heron demands feeding 08-20170612

 Tricolored Heron demands feeding 05-20170612

Tricolored Heron demands feeding 04-20170612

Tricolored Heron demands feeding 03-20170612

Tricolored Heron demands feeding 02-20170612

Tricolored Heron demands feeding 01-20170612

An immature Tricolored Heron is reflected in a flooded prairie:

Tricolored Heron immature 20160118

A graceful landing:

Tricolored Heron landing COREL 20121201

Tricolored Heron feeding habits VIDEO:

(If it does not display CLICK HERE)

= = =  = = =  = = = =  = = = = =

Linking to Misty's  CAMERA CRITTERS,

Linking to Eileen's SATURDAY'S CRITTERS,


Linking to SKYWATCH FRIDAY by Yogi, Sylvia and Sandy


Linking to BirdD'Pot by Anni

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday by Stewart

Linking to Wordless Wednesday (on Tuesday) by NC Sue

Linking to ALL SEASONS by Jesh


Please visit the links to all these memes to see some excellent photos on display



  1. Glorious captures, Kenneth! And it must be wonderful to have them in your backyard!


  3. Kenneth That irst image with the perect reflection is stunning. The many and different Heron shots are fabulous. what a beautiful position to have a home

  4. What a magnificent bird!
    What fantastic pictures!
    Congratulations, Mr. Kenneth.


  5. Remarkable poctures of those herons!

  6. Wonderful pictures! I love herons.

  7. Your bird's positions/stance are all spectacular, as you are a wonderful photographer! I love most the color of that preening heron, but your location near that river is the best. In this country though, locations like that are not safe!

  8. Wonderful heron photos. Love the detail you capture in your shots!

  9. super reflections and super heron photos

  10. You photography qualifies you as a modern-day Audubon. So beautiful. I loved the comparisons. And the Tri-Colored is one of my very favorite birds. I'm always happy to see one, in real life or blogland. Thank you for this lovely post.

  11. Amazing pictures!The reflection in the first one is gorgeous and very artful!

  12. Hello Ken, the Tricolored Herons are gorgeous. Fabulous post and beautiful photos. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend.

  13. Amazing images of the Tricoloured Herons. Such beautiful colouring. Each one a work of art. Thank you for sharing the video of them feeding. Whenever I've been lucky enough to spot a heron it's usually been stood still.
    Have a woderful weekend :)

  14. Magnificent photos of our 'feathered friends ~ in various poses ~ ^_^

  15. Wonderful! Beautiful!
    Have a great week-end!

  16. Incredible heron pictures! Lovely!

  17. I love herons, thanks for the pics. Your house is reflected like glass and those storm clouds look a bit ominous. Wonderful shot of your home.

  18. Extraordinary!!! And such a great narration today. I loved reading about Audubon and how he painted 'his' birds. The Tri-colored is and always will be one of my favorites. Love the chick photos with their parents too.

    Thanks for linking in at I'd Rather B Birdin' this weekend.

  19. Hello Kenneth!:) You have caught the beautiful Tricoloured Herons in the most wonderful poses. Their plumage is magnificent. All your photos are wonderful, and the preening heron is like a lovely painting.:)

  20. Wonderful light and movement in these pictures.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Grindelwald, Switzerland

  21. Beautiful shots, I'm thinking I wish I had your back yard. lol.
    All the best, Gordon.

  22. Beautiful pics! That second shot of the Heron is magnificent!

  23. Wow, these tri-colored herons are stunning! The location of your backyard is enviable! I think I would never work with so much beauty around, lol! Many thanks for sharing these beautiful birds with All Seasons - have a splendid week!
    Hope the visit to your daughter was a happy one.

  24. Did my thank you for All Seasons come through? I'll check again tomorrow!

  25. What a fantastic subject! I never tire of seeing these magnificent birds.

  26. I love the old vintage watercolor posters. Such a beautiful bird.


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