American Bittern

So who do I see come strolling out of the swamp yesterday but this American Bittern!? The bittern is not an extremely rare bird for us, but it is an uncommon and generally secretive bird. On the occasion I do get a glimpse of one, it is usually hidden back in the reeds where it blends it very well.

This one surprised me by coming out into the clear, offering an opportunity for a few photos. Once the bittern realized it was potentially spotted however, it stopped and went into it’s deceptive camouflage mode.

These birds will point their bills straight up making themselves as vertical as possible to blend in with the surrounding reeds and vegetation. Then they will rhythmically rock and sway back and forth to mimic the effect the breeze will have in slowly moving the nearby plants from side to side. This tactic, combined with the bittern’s natural coloration, often make it extremely difficult to see in the marshy areas it prefers to inhabit. 

American Bittern in the Swamp

American Bittern in the Swamp

American Bittern in the Swamp

American Bittern in the Swamp

American Bittern in the Swamp

American Bittern in the Swamp

40 thoughts on “American Bittern

  1. Wow, amazing pictures, and great close-ups, I wonder how do you get those close-ups so great? I tried testing out my camera lens yesterday for a close up of ice, (yes its still snowing here and ice too, I live 200 miles from the Canadian Border) and, the closer I got, the more blurry it seemed to get on my lens, your pictures are amazing and how you get closeups of these beautiful creatures, how do you do it????

    • Hey Linda, thanks a bunch, glad you liked the bittern!
      Taking close ups of ice is different then birds which I use a telephoto lens to get those photos. Are you using a macro lens for the ice photos? That should work.

  2. He certainly does blend. that was very interesting reading. I bet these guys are shy. Really pretty , the colors!

    • Thank you Sylvia, it was a treat to see this guy!
      Sorry I have not been able to get at your blog recently, I’ve had health issues for several weeks now and have undergone two procedures on my back just this past week. I’m hoping things improve soon. 🙂

        • I’m very happy you still check in to see the latest happenings over at the marsh Sylvia.
          I had another procedure on Friday and right now I’m wondering if the cure was worse then the disease.

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