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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

An American Bittern

August 31st, 2011 · 1 Comment

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The first time I drove the main auto tour route last week at Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge the sun had already gone down. But when I looked down into the canal that the road parallels, I saw a bird that I had never seen in Colorado before. There was an American Bittern.

This is a secretive bird, so I moved very slowly not to spook it. The way that bitterns hide is to stretch out their necks so as to make like a reed:

The American Bittern Pretends to be a Reed

The American Bittern Pretends to be a Reed

Click on the picture above to enlarge

When it relaxed, this one went back to hunting. Bitterns are in the heron family, and like all of the birds in that family I get special pleasure from watching them. They hunt so patiently and still. I try to emulate them.

The American Bittern Pretends to be a Reed

Back to the Hunt

Click on the picture above to enlarge

My Canon 7D camera performs much better in low light than my earlier cameras. I took both of these shots at ISO 3200 without noticeable noise.


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Posted in: Photography

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 TOMMY TOMPKINS // Sep 2, 2011 at 7:57 am

    I see these, rarely, at circle b reserve in lakeland florida. They do always hide.