The Call of the American Bittern (VIDEO)
The American Bittern is an elusive and timid bird that is rarely seen in proximity of humans. They are also experts at camouflage in marshes and wetlands regardless of their larger size. The only thing that will give away the presence of this medium sized member of the Heron family is its distinctive bellowing call. Almost everyone who visits marshes as part of a nature walk during the mating season is sure to hear this low billowy sound engulf the marsh. At first not everyone identifies the sound but once you know it you won't forget it!
Yesterday I took the time to visit a Marsh encompassed in a large natural preserve, a Nature Park! I hadn't been to this particular Marsh in nearly a year and wanted to investigate the early spring arrivals. To my surprise both the female and male American Bittern had been active for most of the morning. Spectators to the morning show witnessed two attempts by the male to court and mate with the female. Although his effort seemed valiant to humans the female maintained a distance and the mating never took place.
Throughout the day the male could be heard calling out in the distance. Luckily he gave us one last little show before sunset. I took the time to take some videos and put them together for those of you who have never had the fortune of running into this magnificent bird.
For more Photos of the American Bittern and other members of the Heron Family please visit our Heron Photo Gallery. Many of our images are available for instant purchase online as Prints, Framed Art, Commercial and Editorial Photographic licenses for online and print use.
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