David Element

 

Wildlife Photography and Digital Video Images

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________ Birds 152 Eurasian Bitterns

 

 

 

 

 

EURASIAN BITTERN Botaurus stellaris

 

         The elusive Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris is a much prized sighting for birdwatchers. As these herons have a tendency to return faithfully to favoured wintering sites they are major attractions at these locations if reported to be present. There is often a lot of waiting involved and not infrequently disappointment too! Bitterns are so beautifully camouflaged that sometimes they can be almost impossible to spot in a reed bed even if standing stock still just a couple of feet from the edge and one may know exactly where one is without being able to see it! One trick is to watch for tell-tale movements and the photographer also looks for reflections as paradoxically a mirror image can sometimes be easier to see than the bird itself. It remains a matter of intrigue as to why some herons blatantly advertise their presence with shining bright white plumage whereas other rely on cryptic coloration to remain hidden both from predators and from the prey that they are stalking but it works for them!

 

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David Element