27 December 2007

Lurking Bitterns

The American Bittern, Botaurus lentiginosus, is a solitary creature who is often found lurking about the Green Cay marsh. My first American Bittern sighting came a few years back at the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia. My party was lazily floating down the Suwannee Canal when we say it frozen on the bank. This is a majestic bird to behold in the deep cypress swamp.

Most of the birds at Green Cay are habituated to people. Even the reclusive American Bittern is becoming bolder and staying closer to the boardwalks. Though if you get too close, they will still hold their heads back and spread out their feathers to blend in with the vegetation, as seen above.

The usual suspects at Green Cay always keep me interested in birdwatching. I love seeing the coots and moorhens squabble or the Green Heron doing a flyby over the moorhens and causing all the birds to scatter but the American Bittern is always a special treat. Something about this bird and its motionless stare and its slow precise movements causes me great joy.

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