American Bittern

Hey guys, welcome back! Today we have our first bittern species. What’s a bittern? Well, essentially it’s just a fancy name for heron. Bitterns, herons, and egrets are all in the same family; ardiedae. The American bittern looks kind of like a large, brown striped green heron. American bitterns are widespread throughout the northern half of the US and southern half of Canada during the breeding season, spending their winters in the south, and coastal areas of the US as well as Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Like other herons, American bitterns can be found along the edge of waterbodies. More so than some other herons, you’ll find them in thick, tall grasses and cattails where they can be seen standing still with their heads pointing straight up in the air; mimicking the very weeds they’re in. To date, I’ve only seen one American bittern. It showed up in Central Park a few months before I left NYC and was hanging out high in a tree, not near any water! I’ve since tried tracking down a number of them, but they are much more secretive than some of their cousins. Next time, we check out a cool sparrow. See you all then!

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