Tri-coloured Heron

Tri-coloured Heron (Hydranassa tricolor)
Tri-coloured Heron (Hydranassa tricolor)
Tri-coloured Heron

Order : Ciconiiformes
Ciconiiformes compromise five to six families of large, long legged wading birds with long bills. They primarily occupy fresh or shallow saline water where they feed on fish, crabs, crustaceans, insects and carrion. Most nest in trees, though some nest in swamps or on the ground. the young are altrical (born bare and blind and dependent on parents for food) Most species are colonial, but the use of sound is limited or uncommon, the birds relying more on displays and rituals. Most are strong, often elegant flyers.

Family : Herons (Ardeidae)
The family Ardeidae is made up of Herons, Egrets and Bitterns where Egrets are considered simply as white Herons with decorative plumes and not a biologically separate group. Herons fly with their necks retracted not outstretched like some other members of the Ciconiiformes order. Typically Herons feed in shallow waters or marshes taking fish, frogs, crabs, and even small birds or mammals. They are widely distributed around the world but are most common in the tropics. The nest is made of twigs, usually placed in trees near water, and usually grouped in colonies called Heronries. Herons are sub divided into three groups. Typical Herons which include the genus Egratta, feed during the day. Night Herons, which are usually shorter legged and thick billed, are more active at dusk and during the night, and Tiger Herons which are six species of the more primitive Herons.

Name : Tri-coloured Heron (Hydranassa tricolor)
Length : 60 - 71 cm ( 24 - 28 in )
Local Names : Gaulin

The Tri-coloured Heron is a resident breeder in the Caribbean including the Gulf states of North America with post breeding dispersal well north of the breeding range. The nest is a platform of sticks, usually placed quite low in trees or shrubs, preferably over or facing water in swamp or Mangrove, where 3 - 7 eggs are laid. The Tri-coloured Heron typically stalks it’s prey in shallow water, often running as it does so. It’s diet consists of fish, crustaceans, reptiles and insects. Groups of birds can work together in the mangrove with some members chasing fish into a waiting group ambush. It is a medium to large, long necked Heron with a long pointed yellowish or greyish bill with a black tip. Adults have a blue to grey upperparts with a white line along the neck. In breeding they have long blue plumes on the head and neck, and buff ones on the back.

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Bird identification images
Tri-coloured Heron (Hydranassa tricolor) nesting with chicks

Tri-coloured Heron (Hydranassa tricolor) Birds of Tobago

Tri-coloured Heron (Hydranassa tricolor) wading birds