The Tricolored Heron is a very slender dark heron (26 in.) with a contrasting white belly and white rump with mostly bluish above and on the neck. The bill is bluish-gray with a black tip. A white stripe follows along the throat to the belly.
Tricolored Herons are usually silent. They are more high-strung than most other herons. They often use their wings for balance or extra propulsion when changing position or charging prey. When walking, the head moves in rapid, almost theatrical jabs. It is a solitary feeder, and its diet consists mostly of fish. Tricolored Herons usually fish in quiet shallow waters and may be seen wading in belly-deep coastal lagoons.
It nests in colonies with other herons and egrets. Males select the nesting site within a colony and display there to attract the female. The display includes neck stretching, deep bowing and circular flight. The nest is built mostly by the female with materials gathered by the male. Incubation is performed by both sexes and lasts 21-25 days. Both parents feed the young.
Tricolored Herons were formerly called Louisiana Herons.