Can you spot the American bittern?

Published 7:43 am Thursday, December 9, 2021

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American bitterns (Botaurus lentiginosus) have great coloration enabling them to camouflage in tall grass and brush, as demonstrated with this one photographed at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge.

When startled, the bittern stretches its neck and points its beak straight up.

The bird’s camouflage is used not only to aid in catching food, but also to avoid predators.

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Their long razor-sharp beak is perfect for snagging frogs, fish, snakes, crabs and crayfish.

American bittern

Karen Lebing photo, courtesy USFWS