The American Bittern is often difficult to see. It is well camouflaged, keeps to cover, and lives in dense reeds. American Bitterns breed in freshwater marshes with tall vegetation. In winter they move to areas where water bodies don’t freeze, especially near the coast. I found this one at the Audubon Solciety’s Smith Oaks Rookery in High Island Texas. Managed wetlands seem to be important for wintering American Bitterns. American Bitterns prey upon insects, fish, crustaceans, amphibians, reptiles, and small mammals. Preferred insects include dragonflies, water striders, water beetles, and grasshoppers. They also eat fish from time to time. This shot was taken with a Nikon D4 and 800mm f5.6 Nikkor with a 1.4x teleconverter.