Hope to see Least Bittern chicks soon!

Much as they try to hide, we’re lucky that the elusive Least Bitterns enjoy our local wetlands!

All About Birds includes a very apt description of this shy little bird: “The furtive Least Bittern is often little more than a voice in the reeds that is frustratingly difficult to locate. But these diminutive herons reward patience and will charm birders persistent enough to discover them in their wetland haunts.”

David Sibley calls this smallest of all herons “uncommon and very inconspicuous” (The Sibley Guide to Birds, p.107). So true – it’s always a treat when one emerges into full view!

We’re fortunate in Southeast Florida to be one of the only places in the United States to have them all year round, as you can see in the All About Birds range map above.

In recent weeks, we’ve seen one nest, nearly hidden in the marsh grass, with at least 3 eggs so far. It’s very difficult to get clear shots of the parents on the nest, as it is built is low to the ground and mostly hidden by the foliage.

“The male constructs the well-hidden nest, and the female sometimes watches him as he works. He builds the nest by pulling on the reeds and crimping them to form a platform and a canopy, which are then held together with stalks and sticks arranged in a spokelike fashion. . . . the male occasionally repairs the nest even as the female incubates.” (All About Birds)

On a recent late afternoon, I watched as the male worked tirelessly, bustling back and forth from the nest to a nearby patch of soft marsh grass, carrying small pieces to add to the nest, as mom sat on the eggs.

As the late afternoon sun waned and the shadows grew darker in their little hideaway, I caught this shot of mom and dad cuddling together on the eggs.☺️

28 thoughts on “Hope to see Least Bittern chicks soon!

  1. Thank you for sharing these amazing photos. I can confirm what AllAboutBirds says about these birds, as I have only heard one once in my life. I can only dream of seeing a pair on a nest, or nestlings.
    I hope you will get to see bittern babies!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 🐦📸 Birder’s Journey presents a sight so fine, Hoping to spot Least Bittern chicks, how divine! 🥚🔍

    May 16, a day of avian glee, In our wetlands, these elusive beings we see! 🌿

    All About Birds, a guide so wise, Describes their nature in cunning guise. 😯

    “The furtive Least Bittern, a voice concealed, In reeds it hides, making birders congealed!” 🤫

    David Sibley, the expert of note, Deems them uncommon, inconspicuous, and remote. 📚

    Oh, what a joy when they emerge from the blue, The smallest heron, quite a sight to woo! 🌈

    Southeast Florida, a haven so rare, Year-round habitation, a privilege we share! 🏖️

    In recent weeks, we’ve found a nest so small, With three eggs hidden amidst marsh grass so tall. 🌾

    Capturing shots of parents, quite the ordeal, Low to the ground, their love they conceal. 📷

    “The male, the architect of this covert place, Weaving reeds into a nest with grace, A canopy and platform in a spokelike embrace, While the female watches, admiration to chase.” 🏗️

    In soft marsh grass, he labors with glee, Adding pieces, crafting a cozy spree. ✨

    As twilight descends, shadows casting a spell, I captured a moment, oh, what a swell! 💑🥚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing some great photographs of one of my favorite birds! Fingers crossed you’ll capture some shots of the little ones.

    I see the Least Bittern occasionally, but hear them more often. They have a very distinct “chuckle” which is aimed directly at my efforts to locate them. Or, I could just be paranoid.

    But I don’t think so.

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😊. They are certainly special little birds, are they, Wally? I must admit that I’ve seen them much more than heard them in our area. I really hope they will survive all the other critters who might find them a tasty morsel. 😳


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