Ridgefield NWR 09-23-10

I had an awesome trip up to Ridgefield yesterday afternoon, just as the rain was ending...

First off, there were a bunch of nutria babies!  Too cute...

Near the nutria were some Gadwalls swimming...

Next I stopped to look at some ducks farther away... I looked down and noticed a bittern right in front of me..

I was happy enough just watch him for a bit... but then he yanked a little rodent out of nowhere and ate it!  I had never seen a bittern eat anything so I was super excited....

He would shake the rodent then plunge it (squeaking!) into the water and then yank it out of the water and shake it some more.  I suppose he was drowning it as well as breaking its neck?

I don't know what I was expecting, but I was surprised to watch him swallow the rodent whole...

Note the tail hanging out of his mouth... ew!

And then it was gone!  I swear he burped after he swallowed it...

Shortly after watching the bittern I saw my first Sandhill Cranes of the season pass by overhead...

Then what I thought was a hawk passed by and I took a few quick shots of it...

Am I crazy or does it resemble a falcon?  [Thanks for the help, it is indeed a Peregrine!]

Lastly I watched a coyote hunting in the fields for awhile...  I only saw him catch something once of about ten or fifteen attempts...

I really love watching them...

What an awesome trip!!


  1. You always get the best photos up there! The bittern is great. We saw a heron do the same thing once, but I've never seen a bittern eat anything either. Cool!

  2. Ditto the Nature Nut. And not only does your bird resemble a falcon but it indeed a Peregrine. Great shot.

  3. Great Job Jen. The bittern shots were great. And I agree on the peregrine. Keep it up.

  4. Hi Jen. Ridgefield is certainly turning up trumps for you. Awesome shots of the Bittern feeding. FAB.

  5. Ah, thank you for the falcon ID!! And the kind words!!

  6. It's easy to see why you seem to have a preference for this wildlife venue. You are documenting your experiences in a very entertaining way.

  7. Killer Bittern shots! No, I mean REALLY killer! Incredible bunch of photos. I'm envious! In the south, they eat Nutria. Fabulous photos. Got any recipes???

  8. I love the jumping coyote shot! So cool! Peregrine-nice bird! The nutria babies are cute but I don't really feel sorry for the rat.


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