American Bittern: Ghost of the Grass

Bitterns in Green Reeds are much easier to spot than those in dead brown reeds. JamieDrake©

Bitterns in Green Reeds are much easier to spot than those in dead brown reeds. JamieDrake©

The Viera Wetlands, also known as the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands, are full of American Bittern in the winter months.  Over the last few years I’ve photographed many of them, and today, I found one more.  These large, solitary birds are perfectly blended in plumage to match their most common environment of dead reeds.  They are difficult to spot, even for seasoned birders, and can be challenging to photograph as they are secretive and provide little contrast to their usual surroundings.  One of the best things about our wetlands in the winter is an abundance of open spaces that they seem to have little hesitancy about entering and the green that seems to persist well into winter.

See what I mean! JamieDrake©

See what I mean! JamieDrake©

When photographing these birds I’ve found a few things helpful in finding and focusing on them for a well composed photo.  Not that I usually get that.  What I suggest is to be patient, get low, and move slowly.  If photographing from a vehicle the challenge is that you’re angle will cause some difficulty in that you might get shadows and interference from reeds.  Best of luck! Show me your bittern pics by leaving a link in the comments box!

The end is never here – Jamie

These photos were taken in various years using either a Nikon D80 and Nikorr 70-300 VR 4.5 or my new gear a Nikon d7000 and the 80-400 4.5 VR.

 

3 thoughts on “American Bittern: Ghost of the Grass

    • Beautiful photographs! I didn’t find an American Bittern on your page though unless I overlooked it. The Least Bitterns are beautiful 🙂

  1. Nice job! The American Bitterns are very hard to see let alone photograph. There are Least Bitterns at Viera as well, I’m sure you have seen them. They are even harder to photograph, but very beautiful.

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