Chirps and Cheeps

A Photo Journal of My Birding Experiences & Observations

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  At Least a Fish

Published: August 29, 2019
Tags: General Observations, least bittern

Least Bitterns have been nesting and successfully breeding at Times Beach Nature Preserve for two years now.  This is pretty exciting as, prior to this year, they've been pretty much dependent on the large marshes at Tifft Nature Preserve.  Much of the success here at Times has to do with the habitat restoration project of the Army Corp of Engineers and we and the bitterns owe them a big thanks!

Today, I hoped to get a look at a Least Bittern as I walked along the boardwalk by the marsh.  It's hit or miss if you get to see one - and even less likely that one would tolerate a curious birder.  Today, however, I was in luck.

A young bird (proof of breeding success!) crowned with a fuzzy head of down was out in the open fully focused on procuring lunch for itself - something squiggly that lay beneath the water's surface.  The bird stared HARD at the apparent fish and never broke its gaze.  I was fascinated when it extended itself way out over the water - completely parallel to the surface - barely keeping itself from falling in by grasping a reed with its feet.  What feet!  And what a feat!  Then it plunged!  Success!  Out it came with a fish and, unlike the Osprey two days earlier, this bird held onto its prey and enjoyed a hearty lunch deeper in the marsh and out of view...

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The young Least Bittern intently watching something beneath the water. Notice the down on the crown.

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What a feat!

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Still holding on... Amazing!

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And the plunge!

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His lunch

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Off he goes deeper into the marsh to enjoy his meal

Reply from: edi on 3/28/2020 1:36 PM
 nice post

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