My Bird Blog: A blog about my birding discoveries, bird feeders, birds on my life lists, and all things bird related

Sue's Bird Blog Archives

Least Bittern at Tifft Today

Published June 30, 2013
Tags: Life List Happenings, Least Bittern, Green Heron, Great Blue Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Belted Kingfisher, Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Wood Duck, Marsh Wren, House Wren, Cedar Waxwing, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler

An early morning hike at Tifft with my son produced our target bird, the Least Bittern. Although I've heard this bittern before at Tifft, today was the first time I saw it as it popped out of the reeds, flew low over them, and went back down into the reeds.  We saw the bird do this several times. I got a couple of photos, but he was too fast for me and they all turned out rather blurry.  I put the best one of the bunch below just for documentation of this life bird event.

Did you know the Least Bittern can hold onto some reeds, straddling them, which enables it to feed in water that would otherwise be too deep for it?  And when this guy gets frightened, it will stand stock still with its bill pointing up and then sways to look like it's a reed swaying in the wind. Neat to know!

We've had so much rain lately, everything was wet and muddy - and BUGGY.  As much as we tried to be careful, Tom still got a couple of bites from some fire ants.  Beware of those; they're nasty!  And FYI: Hydrocortisone is supposed to be the best treatment.

Some other birds we saw this morning were: Green Herons (several), Great Blue Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Belted Kingfisher, Eastern Kingbird, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Wood Duck, Marsh Wren, House Wren, Cedar Waxwing, Common Yellowthroat, and several Yellow Warblers.

The morning air was full of a wide diversity of bird songs.  I hear that will end soon - in mid-July.  Apparently, the birds don't feel like singing after the breeding and nesting season is over.  I will miss their joyful noise!
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Least Bittern flying over the reeds - isn't it lovely how all the reeds in the foreground are all nice and in focus! :(
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Tom enjoying a Black-capped Chickadee eating out of his hand
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Green Heron
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Green Heron - we saw at least 6 of them this morning!
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Female Belted Kingfisher
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Momma Wood Duck and her ducklings
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Killdeer taken last night at Sinking Ponds
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There were many deer in the preserve; this one seems to have been drinking in some slime-covered water!
Reply from: Lynn on 6/30/2013 11:13 AM
 I just looked up the Least Bittern in my bird book. I'd never heard of it before. I'm learning so much from reading your blog. Sounds like a great morning. I hope Tom's bites don't cause him much discomfort.