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American Bittern 3 (Botaurus lentiginosus)

Posted by Julie L. Brown (Indianapolis, Indiana, United States) on 24 July 2014 in Animal & Insect and Portfolio.

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Central Indiana Birds 2014
Eagle Creek Park
Indianapolis, Indiana

The third image in this mini-series shows the bird calling .

I forgot to mention that this was a life bird for me. My previous experience in seeing a bittern was the Least Bittern , also a lifer and also seen just once so far. The difference in field identification is obvious: the adult American Bittern is a big heron with broad brown stripes on the breast, while the Least is much smaller without the striking breast markings.

From my previous post, the story goes: As I was following the Sora with my lens, I heard an American Bittern calling in the reeds. This was an exciting find, as this is a very secretive species: "A stocky and well-camouflaged heron of dense reed beds, the American Bittern is difficult to see. Its far-carrying booming call is distinctive, but the bittern itself likes to keep under cover." My lens would not autofocus because of the layers of vegetation between me and the bird. I tried to find openings to get a better view but had to use manual focus to make images. Click here to see a video produced by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology .

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, All rights reserved

Doug from Burnham-on-Sea, United Kingdom

This is such a beautiful capture of this amazing bird, I really enjoyed reading your story of how you captured this, isn't it always the way that the things we would like most just seem to appear when we're not expecting. This is a 5* shot and given how rare to actually capture on in our lens should be a spotlight for that alone but the quality of this image is perfect. Congratulations on seeing one of your life birds. On the Somerset levels we all hear it's booming call but very rarely catch sight least of all in the reads, so it's a goal for me too to see one either roosting or fishing in the reeds.
Sorry for gushing a little but I can understand the excitement in capturing this image and watching this very shy bird

24 Jul 2014 6:09am

Focales from Entre montagnes et Bretagne, France

Really a beautiful big bird

24 Jul 2014 6:40am

omid from mashhad, Iran

such beautiful composition, focus, colors, lighting & background!
L O V E L Y !!!!!!

24 Jul 2014 7:01am

Dimitrios from ATHENS, Greece


24 Jul 2014 7:01am

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

I am captivated by this image!!!

24 Jul 2014 5:49pm

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

5 stars from me

24 Jul 2014 5:50pm

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

Even better than yesterday.

24 Jul 2014 7:21pm

LauraS from Chico, United States

Is this bird in the heron family? shape is certainly like the blue heron, but markings/color is not.

24 Jul 2014 8:24pm

Steven from Chicagoland, United States

Such eye-catching markings captured in its plumage with splendid detail among the tall grasses!! I love what the DoF has done to the water in the background!

24 Jul 2014 8:31pm

DarkElf from Perth, Australia

that's a real beauty! very sharp and detailed! i like the feather that stick out of the back!

25 Jul 2014 2:16am

Langevine from Angers, France


25 Jul 2014 6:25am

Aigleloup from Rebecq, Belgium

Je comprends que tu le photographie sous tous les angles, cela être tellement rare de le voir ainsi.

25 Jul 2014 9:35am

michel creze from le havre, France

Superbe !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

25 Jul 2014 1:34pm

Shaahin Bahremand from Tehran, Iran

nicely done

25 Jul 2014 3:47pm

Mhelene from Villiers-sur-Marne, France

Splendid photo !!

26 Jul 2014 8:16am