I recently read an informative article (see this link at Florida Audubon) with a unique perspective on the Tricolored Heron’s ‘multi-colored’ appearance. Here’s an excerpt:
The Tricolored Heron Has More Than Three Colors, “Multicolored Heron” might be a more accurate name for this small wading bird, formerly known as the Louisiana Heron. Their plumage changes in color rather dramatically from the juvenile stage, when they are mostly brown with blue accents, to their adult form: slate gray with mauve tones. They always have a white belly, but during the breeding season (May – July), they become even more vibrant. Tricolored Heron bills and facial skin take on a bright, cobalt blue hue and their dull, yellow legs transform into pink. Why? These coloration infusions are all about attracting a mate.
Stay tuned for images of the Tricolored in his finest blues!