Bare-throated Tiger-Heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum)

There are three species of Tiger-Heron occurring in Costa Rica, and they resemble each other, which means identification is difficult. All three birds are very big in size and not probable to be confused with other wetland birds. The first time I saw this species as on August 20th, 2017 in Rio Frío, Sarapiquí. At first my parents told me that they had seen a very big, barred bird walk past their home a few days before that, but they could not describe the bird detailed enough to identify it. The sighting was a great treat for the day.

Tiger-Herons are found on swamps and rivers, where they stalk fish from the edge or shallows. They move very slowly and silently to ensure prey don’t even notice their presence. They also stay motionless for quite some time, waiting for the prey to be in short range, before sending their long beaks in lightning fast action as a spear. The long neck provides plenty of muscle power, as well as the possibility to grab prey from a distance. This species can also forage outside the water environment, something I have witnessed a lot of times at my parent’s home, where they walk looking for prey through the farmlands.

Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Adult - Tigrisoma mexicanum - Garza Tigre Cuellinuda, Adulto

This juvenile foraged right by the edge of the lagoon at Caño Negro. It came from inside the tall grass and stalked fish that were abundant

Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Juvenile - Tigrisoma mexicanum - Garza Tigre Cuellinuda, Juvenil (3)

A juvenile individual at Rio Frio near a temporary stream of water

Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Juvenile - Tigrisoma mexicanum - Garza Tigre Cuellinuda, Juvenil (2)

With the neck elongated in upright fashion, this bird looks very tall, about one meter high at least

Bare-throated Tiger-Heron, Juvenile - Tigrisoma mexicanum - Garza Tigre Cuellinuda, Juvenil

When stalking prey, it is normal to see these birds standing there motionless for minutes at a time

One thought on “Bare-throated Tiger-Heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum)

  1. Pingback: Green Heron (Butorides Virescens) | Chris Photography

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s