Hotline Photos

American Bittern

29 Apr 2007
Bear River MBR
Box Elder County, Utah

Sighting at Visitor Center:

June Ryburn and I flushed an AMERICAN BITTERN in the wetland at the Bear River Wildlife Education Center west of Brigham City, Box Elder County, this morning at about 8:45. The bird flushed from water's edge about 25 yards from the concrete path that encircles the wetland and then went down again into the reeds within a hundred yards or so. We were ebullient. When we returned to the building still high-fiving and back-slapping, Lee Shirley told us he heard a bittern calling in that wetland yesterday.

We took the path from the center's deck and parabolic sound collector and walked south. The bird flushed 200-300 yards down the path in an area where a blue mylar balloon has become entangled at the base of some reeds. Walkers can also access the path from the main parking lot; you'll need to walk almost completely around the wetland (about 1/2 mile walk) and get on the east side to be at the site where we saw the bird.

The education center and that path is open weekdays 8 am-5 pm and Saturdays 10:00-4:00. The center is not open to the public on Sundays; June and I were attending a private Audubon meeting (that is, right after we played hookey while flushing the bittern).

The education center is located 1/4 mile west of I-15 at exit 363, Forest Street.

~ Kris Purdy

Sighting on Auto Loop:

I guess it was American Bittern day at Bear River MBR. I found one along the north part of the auto tour loop. It was in the cattails and rushes. I did not try to pinpoint it, but it was about a mile before the S-turn going west. On the south side. I watched it for about an hour and it must not have felt threatened. It came out in the open and was catching the little guppies/mosquito fish. I enjoyed watching it sneak up on the little fish. ... 

~ Jack Binch

                 Photos by Jack Binch

Photos by Jack Binch   ŠJack Binch

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