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Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) Ardeidae

May 6, 2012
Tacoma, WA
Robert Niese

GBHs are master predators. I’ve watched these creatures consume everything from fish and insects to frogs, snakes, and rodents the size of small dogs! They also have a terrifying, rattling, squawk that never fails to make me jump out of my skin whenever I stumble upon an unsuspecting individual while I’m creeping around docks at night (looking for cool nighttime marine invertebrates, of course!). They truly are dinosaurs.

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) Ardeidae

Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, WA
October 27, 2012
Robert Niese

The American Bittern is famous for its unbelievable camouflage skills, but is slightly less well-known for its equally astounding vocal abilities. If you’ve never heard a Bittern singing, you should check it out here. It’s absolutely nothing like anything that you’ve ever heard before, I guarantee it.