"Least bitterns are the smallest members of the heron family and are one of the most inconspicuous of all marsh birds (Weller 1961; Gibbs et al. 1992)."
"In general, least bitterns occupy freshwater and brackish marshes with dense, tall growths of emergent vegetation interspersed with clumps of woody vegetation and open water (Gibbs et al. 1992)."
"The least bittern’s small size, highly compressed trunk, and ability to grasp with its feet enable it to move through dense vegetation. They forage by clinging to emergent vegetation over open water and extending their long necks, wading along the edge of open water, and using small constructed foraging platforms at rich feeding sites (Eastwood 1932; Sutton 1936; Weller 1961; Gibbs et al. 1992)."
These three quotes were taken from a PDF file available from Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program Balancing Resource Use and Conservation https://www.lcrmscp.gov/species/least_bittern.html
The following images illustrate some of the points mentioned above.
"They forage by clinging to emergent vegetation over open water ..."
"... and extending their long necks ..."
The probability is very high that a Least Bittern will capture its prey when it strikes. The birds have captured a minnow on at least 90% of the strikes I have observed.
"Least bitterns are the smallest members of the heron family and are one of the most inconspicuous of all marsh birds . ." These rare images of a Least Bittern in a completely open space were acquired at Anahuac NWR in Texas during drought conditions. The birds were forced to come out of the reeds to forage for food.
Glimpses of Our Natural World
I am an amateur photographer with a specific interest in nature photography, especially bird photography. I live in Pensacola FL and specialize in photos taken in Central Florida, the panhandle of Florida, the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Texas.