Remember how I hatched out those Common Moorhens a couple weeks ago? Well, I got to hatch something else pretty silly too. American Bitterns! Those are kind of like herons for those of you who aren't bird nerds, and if you don't know what a heron is please go look all these names up. ;-)
I see Bitterns flying over here from time to time, and have certainly heard them while out bird-nerding in marshy areas. Don't know what a Bittern sounds like? Here's a video I found on line:
Anyway... shortly before I left for Blade Show, my friend Anne, who also found the Moorhens while out cutting hay, brought me 4 mystery eggs from a nest that had been destroyed. They were dark olive in color (like a pheasant) but more similar in size to a teal, but not the right color for a teal. I was stumped, but guessed Bittern based on the size and color of the eggs, so I'm totally stoked that I was right. It was pretty shocking to see those big gangly beaky things unfold themselves out of the eggs. I was trying to describe them to a friend, and I said "imagine Big Bird as a baby." Yeah, I think that covers it. Two of the eggs were dead when I got them, but the other two hatched right after I got home. Of course I had to take a million photos, and these birds were so funny I really couldn't narrow it down. I'll post some videos on Facebook later. They are loud babies, bottomless pits when it comes time to eat, and spent a lot of time pecking their own and each other's toes. I am not raising them, they are now with the same nice lady from a wildlife organization who is also raising the Moorhens.
These pics were taken at a few different times. By the end, the oldest chick was 48 hours and the younger one (which was not hatched yet in the first pics) was 24 hours old.
Those are some pretty silly looking chicks there. I wonder what you call a bunch of bitterns? A bevy? Hmm...
Itty Bitty Bitterns !!!
Your blog is the best site ever.
Where else could a person view Dragon Knife one day, and American Bittern chicks the next? Way to go.
they look like lil' dinosaurs! sooo awesome!
Oh my god, I am laughing so hard right now. They are hilarious! Oh, do it again next year, indeed, it is worth the laugh! I love the one where it is trying to eat the camera. -BMc.
I concur with what Aaron said, haha. These are very strange birds! I am not sure if I like them or not....they almost look like aliens. I love the details of the fluff that the camera was able to capture! BTW, what do you feed them?
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