As an American Bittern was reported between Oakwood Road and Ryan Road on Pennsylvania Ave. yesterday in Oak Creek. I thought I would give it a try later this morning. The bird was present in a ditch off the road. Even though this bird was a different color than the surroundings it was in, sometimes I saw it, sometimes I did not. It was an amazing situation as it just blended in, did not look like a bird sometimes with the angle I was at. It stood motionless when I saw it in the couple of passes I made, but gave nice looks for a couple photos. There was a lot of traffic on Pennsylvania Ave. and my stop times were very short. After a few minutes a few cars stopped to see what I was up to, and the bird walked into the brush on the side of the road, but it was still visible. I have struggled to get images of this bird over the years as I have not seen them. I did get a flight shot last year of one at Horicon Marsh but that was it. Thanks to Dave M for finding this bird and getting the word out yesterday. It was a cold day with mostly cloudy skies and winds off the lake, it did not feel at all like spring. Images were taken on April 20, 2017.
Binomial name: Botaurus lentiginosus
Category: Bitterns, Herons, and Allies
Size: 28” long, 42” wing span
Weight: 1.5 lb
Cool Fact: Bitterns are stealthy in a way that they typically stand motionless as they wait for prey to approach or stalk prey with barely perceptible motions.