While exploring Cape May Point State Park a couple of weeks ago, I came on this bird sitting in a tree over the water. It is one that I see from time to time, but never frequently, and not for a few years now. This is the best look I have ever had at this usually very secretive bird, and I watched him for a good 15 minutes. Put on your thinking cap, as this may not be an easy one. The first time I saw one, it was hiding in a marsh up in Maine, making this incredible call. I kept watching until I found it so I could figure out what the bird was that had such an unusual call.
In wetlands damp I'm always found
It's for my call that I'm renowned
My pattern's brownish and white streaks;
I have a sharp and spear-like beak
And with that beak I'll try to spear
Whatever creatures come too near
Be they frog, mouse, or yummy fish
To catch dinner is my fond wish
My color pattern helps me hide
Tall reeds is where I'm often spied
And so, how are you thus far fairin'?
You guess that I'm a stocky heron?
Now how can I describe my call
Which if you hear it should enthrall?
"Oong-ka-choonk" with pumping sound
Which loudly booms o'er marsh and ground
Not easy, is it?
Well, I threw
a lot of
facts in the
If you ever
heard one of
you will get
for the answer
Within your brain did the facts churn
To guess American bittern?
I've never before seen this bird when it wasn't hiding. This one was just sitting up in a lovely flowering tree over the water, maybe catching the morning rays. I really enjoyed that my day and his intersected for a little while.