The Travels of Tug 44

American Bittern

The American Bittern is a medium sized Heron wearing striped pajamas. They hang out mostly in fresh-water swamps and they eat the usual items popular with herons ... fish, frogs, crayfish, etc.   high-res

One of the most notable things about the American Bittern is their tendency to hold their beak pointing straight up. This helps them fade into the surrounding reeds and cattails in the swamp. On windy days, they will even sway back and forth to better hide among the reeds. This one is staring right at me, watching me closely ... the beak is straight up but the eyes are on me.   high-res

American Bitterns are not rare, but they are seldon seen, their camouflage works so well. To my knowledge, nobody has spotted one in Fort Edward before this.   high-res

After a few minutes, this American Bittern runs away ... in slow motion, taking long strides.   high-res

As she stalked away to the woods, we admired her lime-green knee-socks. This completes her camouflage, matching the green algae often found floating on the surface of the swamp.   high-res

The American Bittern pefers shallow swamps, maybe a foot deep or less, so that they can stalk thru the water without getting their feathers wet.   high-res

This Bittern appeared to prefer walking away from us, but when she got to the edge of the swamp, she flew ... and was not seen again. Their camouflage does work so well that we could easily have driven right past her and not known.   high-res

The American Bittern, a Heron in striped pajamas.

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