Tricolored Heron (Egretta tricolor ruficollis)
9 April 2009, Grande Island, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana.
The turquoise-cobalt bill color indicates the courtship plumage phase.
Males and females are almost identical in this plumage. However, the sexes
differ somewhat in eye color with females having a red inner iris while
males have the entire iris colored magenta. If I interpret these
difference correctly, this bird appears to be a female based on the red
inner iris with magenta just on the edges.
After the courtship phase, the bill of both sexes turns yellowish.
Two or three races are usually recognized. This is the larger E. t.
ruficollis which is often merged with E. t. occidentalis from Baja, Mexico.
A smaller nominate race is found in northern South America.
This species was formerly called the Louisiana Heron.
Digiscoped with Panasonic DMC-LZ5 Nikon FieldScope 3 / 30X WA hand-held (no