American Bittern

The American Bittern is a medium sized heron, 24-33 inches (60-84 cm) in length. This is larger than a Crow but smaller than a Canada Goose. They are stealth hunters that lurk in the reeds and wait for their prey, which includes small fish, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals and insects. They are very hard to spot among the vegetation along the water’s edge and will stand with their head pointing up to make themselves virtually invisible. This individual was standing less than twenty feet away. You could not see it until you scanned the reeds with your binoculars and caught sight of its eye!

Sometimes they seem to become so engrossed in the hunt that don’t notice that they have come out of hiding. That’s when you can get these pictures.

This one did go back into the reeds eventually. But it didn’t notice that despite being out of sight, its reflection wasn’t. Ooops!

3 thoughts on “American Bittern

  1. That’s a really noteworthy shot — the Bittern is hidden but its reflection is visible. I wonder whether any predators are smart enough to notice.


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