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Bird of the Week: American Bittern

The American Bittern is a medium sized heron with a stout body and a long neck that gradually tapers into a daggerlike bill. This bird is found in wetlands throughout the United States, primarily foraging in inland freshwater marshes for frogs, fish, and aquatic insects. American Bittern’s enjoy spending time in the dense grasses of the marsh and when seen they are often stalking their prey at an almost imperceivably slow pace, striking with their sharp bill at just the right moment. When in danger this Bittern does its best to blend into the grasses around it by striking a pose with its beak held up high and long striped neck stretched out, it may even sway with the wind to better blend in with the swaying grasses. When trying to locate this bird in a nearby marsh be sure to listen for it first, this bird is more often heard than seen. They have an exceptional call that makes a strange booming, plunking sound through the marsh. Click here to hear this unique call. Happy Birding!

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