Shy guy

It’s always exciting to spot a secretive American Bittern stalking around in the marsh. Unlike other herons who will often fly off when disturbed, the well-camouflaged Bittern will frequently stay right where it is, trying ever so hard to hide amongst the tall leaves. To enhance the effect of pretending to be part of the plant life, “alarmed birds ‘skypoint’, swaying […]

‘Standing stock still . . . ‘

I love the American Bittern – what a curiously unique member of the heron family! This large Bittern has been aptly described as stout, streaked, solitary, and, most definitely, secretive and stealthy. The elusive American Bitterns are often very difficult to spot, but this one was quite accommodating and stayed out in the open for quite some time before he slipped back […]

American Bittern makes an appearance!

What a thrill to get a glimpse of this beautiful, well-fed American Bittern. We were strolling along a boardwalk, when my husband suddenly spotted some movement in the tall marshy grasses . . .  and then the Bittern emerged!Known for its solitary and elusive behavior, this ‘stout heron’ can be found in dense freshwater marshes (, and […]

Everyone looks a little different in the evening

It’s interesting to observe how the colors of the late day sun affect a bird’s appearance. The Red-Bellied Woodpecker above that I spied on a recent early evening walk, certainly looked like he was enjoying the last rays of sun. We usually see the  Boat-tailed Grackle above in his brilliant, shimmering blue feathers in the daytime sun. […]

American Bittern – Two different days

The pretty American Bittern above was clearly on a mission last week, stalking very close to the boardwalk.  As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, this large Bittern is quite elusive, “uncommon and very inconspicuous,” (The Sibley Guide to Birds, 2nd Ed.), so it’s always exciting to see one in full view, right near by. They can be nearly […]

Bet no one can see me now . . . . !

I recently saw this American Bittern strolling through the marsh.  American Bitterns are fun to spot, since they are usually very well-camouflaged – they blend right into their surroundings. Variously described as stealthy, secretive, and solitary, the American Bittern reacts to intruders by stopping in his tracks, stretching out his neck, and pointing his nose upward, trying ever so hard […]