The Tri-colored Heron, formerly known as the Louisiana Heron, is a year-round resident here in South Florida and can be found in the coastal United States from North Carolina all the way to the southern tip of Texas. It is typically found in the quiet, shallow waters that make up coastal lowlands, sheltered estuaries and mangrove swamps in coastal communities. Its name comes from the three colors, Blue-gray, Lavender and White that exhibit on the adult bird. Younger birds have varied colorations but a distinct white throat and breast is consistent and combined with it's slender body and medium size makes this heron easily identifiable. It typically forages by standing still and waiting for prey to approach but can get creative and move to stir up sediment and prey as well as fly across the water chasing schools of fish as photographed.

In order to have a true appreciation for the beauty of the tri-colored heron a good pair of binoculars or spotting scope would be very helpful. This multi-colored heron is always beautiful to see up close and another treasure to enjoy here on the islands.