Sackville Waterfowl Park

New Brunswick, Canada

American Bittern

I recall seeing one of these peculiar birds in the tall grass outside our Laurentian cottage back in the late 50s. I was pleased to see one again . . . the first in nearly 40 years.

For the photographers: 400mm F/5.6 on ISO 100 Elitechrome. On a monopod at 1/80 sec at twilight!I was desperate.

Much better shooting conditions, and a much more tolerant bird resulted in the shot below.

I observed this bird for much of an afternoon and watched as he made that distinctively strange "pumping" noise so often heard in the marsh. It looked like it took a great deal of effort on the bird's part, almost like a human being being violently ill to his stomach! He nearly turned himself inside out.


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