Tricolored Heron

I saw my first Tricolored Heron at Bald Knob National Wildlife Refuge. It looks similar to a Great Blue Heron except it has a white belly, a stripe down the neck, and a yellow section that runs from the beak to around the eyes. According to allaboutbirds.org, the Tricolored Heron is common in southern saltmarshes although its range is along the eastern and southern coastline of the United States.

Two neat facts I found on All About Birds: “Tricolored Herons sometimes follow behind Double-crested Cormorants and Pied-billed Grebes snapping up fish that they stir up.” The oldest one recorded was 17 years and 8 months old.

Tricolored Herons can be found in Arkansas each year but rarely.

Great-tailed Grackle

I recently stopped at a Prescott truck stop in southwest Arkansas, and found Great-tailed Grackles. These blackbirds are beautiful with sharp yellow eyes, black bills and legs, and a super long tail. Their feathers are iridescent.

Great-tailed Grackles are not as common in Arkansas, although they can be found year-round in the western part of the state near the border by Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana.