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Sunday, May 29, 2011

American Bittern Gets Out of Rehab

I received an email from Robyn Graboski at Centre Wildlife Care asking me to assist them in releasing a rehabed American Bittern into the wild. Of course, I was excited to help.

I took my kids over to the CWC facility and pick-ed up the bittern. Our initial plan was to release it at Scotia Pond in SGL 176. Once we arrived at the pond, I had second thoughts about the site. Due to all the rain, the water in the pond was very deep and most of the vegetation surrounding the pond was submerged. It didn't seem the bittern would have any places to hide.

We then decided to take the bird over to Toftrees Pond, which is situtated between the Toftrees Gold Resort and the east portion of SGL 176. We took the bittern down to the edge of the pond and released it directly into the cattail reeds.

The bittern was very anxious to get out of the box in which he was transported. He jumped out, gave a deep "squonk" and lept right into the water. He didn't count on the water being a few inches deep and he got most of his feathers wet. After a few minutes, he seemed to adjust and started acting more "bittern-like", stretching his neck and holding it upright, trying to blend in with the reeds. We watched him for a few moments and he seemed to be acclimating pretty well.

Now he is on his own!

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