American Bittern at Oak Creek in Milwaukee County Wisconsin on April 20, 2017

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.

American Bittern

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.

In the brush…