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February 2018 Bird of the Month – American Bittern

American Bittern 2 (c) 2006 Paul Thomas. All rights reserved. Dec 15, American Bittern digesting Yellow-bellied Water Snake at Loxahatchee NWR, Boynton Beach, West PBC, Fl

February’s Bird of the Month is the American Bittern, and here is the article in the upcoming February 2018 Kite written by Clive Pinnock.

February Bird of the Month – American Bittern – by Clive Pinnock

The Houdini of the heron family, the American Bittern is quite adept at doing the “Now you see me, now you don’t” act. This medium to large heron has a thick compact body of warm brown, buff and white feathers. Their heavily streaked neck and dagger-like straight and sharply pointed bill make them barely perceptible in marsh vegetation. Their short legs and slightly hunched posture also add to their unique camouflage or cryptic repertoire. Their eyes, which are usually yellow throughout most of the year, turn orange during the breeding season.

The primary hunting strategy of these birds is stealth as they patiently stalk their quarry of fish, amphibians, crustaceans, reptiles, mammals and insects. When alarmed, they stand with their bills pointed straight up which, with their streaky neck plumage, helps to break up their outline against the reeds and sedges of the marsh. They typically inhabit dense freshwater marshes, often hunting along the edges, and are rarely seen in the open. They are mostly noticeable during the spring due to their odd booming calls, which sometimes sound like “gulps of a thirsty giant.” These calls are often heard at dusk and dawn.

We have both migratory and resident American Bitterns in Florida. Those that you see and hear during our spring and summer are year-round residents, since birds from the northern states migrate during the fall to escape the oncoming freezing temperatures of winter and will have already been returning north in the spring. Wintering birds, although typically found in freshwater and sometimes brackish water marshes, may also forage in dry grasslands and other terrestrial habitats.
Photographer’s please note: next month’s BOM is the Least Bittern.

Please check out the picture by Paul Thomas in the February KITE cover and to see the slide show of the entire virtual gallery this month, along with photographer etc  — click on BOM SLIDE SHOW below the pictures displayed here:

Febrary 2018 Bird of the Month – American Bittern

Funding shortage puts Palm Beach County’s Natural Areas at risk

Royal Palm Pines Natural Area after Hurricane Irma

Royal Palm Pines Natural Area after Hurricane Irma

Recent article from the Palm Beach Post (PDF Version) outlining the budgeting issues facing Palm Beach County’s Natural Areas. From the Cypress Creek Natural Area down to Pondhawk Natural Area, the natural areas has provided wonderful birding opportunities to view birds in their native environment. These . . . → Read More: Funding shortage puts Palm Beach County’s Natural Areas at risk

January 2018 KITE newsletter is now online

The January 2018 issue of the Everglade Kite is now online.

JANUARY 2018 Monthly Membership Meeting & Lecture (Jan 9, 2nd Tuesday): “State of The Everglades: 2015-2017 (It’s been a rough few years)” by Steven Davis, Ph.D

Davis assessing the effects of Hurricane Irma on Florida Bay

Monthly MEETING and LECTURE: “State of The Everglades: 2015-2017 (It’s been a rough few years)” by Steven Davis, Ph.D., Wetland Ecologist, The Everglades Foundation.

Tuesday, January 9, (SECOND TUESDAY), 7:00 p.m. meeting & lecture.

Come hear Steven Davis present “State of The Everglades: 2015-2017 (It’s been a rough few years).” His . . . → Read More: JANUARY 2018 Monthly Membership Meeting & Lecture (Jan 9, 2nd Tuesday): “State of The Everglades: 2015-2017 (It’s been a rough few years)” by Steven Davis, Ph.D

January 2018 Bird of the Month – Roseate Spoonbill

Roseate Spoonbill (c) 2015 Susan Faulkner Davis, All rights reserved.

January’s Bird of the Month is the Roseate Spoonbill, and here is the article in the upcoming January 2018 Kite written by Ben Kolstad.

This permanent resident of South Florida’s Everglades ecosystem is the equivalent of a July 4 fireworks display. It consistently garners the most oohs and ahs, and its alliterative taxonomic name, . . . → Read More: January 2018 Bird of the Month – Roseate Spoonbill

December 5 at 6pm Annual HOLIDAY POT LUCK DINNER and LECTURE “Audubon’s Fight for the Everglade Snail Kite and the Everglades” by Paul N. Gray, Ph.D., Audubon Florida Science Coordinator

OkeePaul

Annual HOLIDAY POT LUCK DINNER and LECTURE “Audubon’s Fight for the Everglade Snail Kite and the Everglades” by Paul N. Gray, Ph.D., Audubon Florida Science Coordinator Tuesday, Dec 5, Dinner 6:00 p.m. Meeting & Lecture 7:00 p.m.

Join us for Dr. Paul Gray’s presentation about the status of the Everglade Snail Kite. . . . → Read More: December 5 at 6pm Annual HOLIDAY POT LUCK DINNER and LECTURE “Audubon’s Fight for the Everglade Snail Kite and the Everglades” by Paul N. Gray, Ph.D., Audubon Florida Science Coordinator

2018 Bird of the Month List by Clive Pinnock – Birds of the Everglades

2018 Bird of the Month List by Clive Pinnock Birds of the Everglades

The 2018 list covers several species of birds that call the Everglades home, with permanent residents covered the first six months and migrants covered the latter half of the year.

Jan – Roseate Spoonbill

Feb – American Bittern

Mar – Least Bittern

. . . → Read More: 2018 Bird of the Month List by Clive Pinnock – Birds of the Everglades