Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis exilis) - 20090606-08a
This diminutive heron is fairly common in its preferred wetland habitat, but secretive and easily overlooked. Found in marshes with a mix of open water and vegetation, often with cattails, phragmites, or lily pads. Usually seen perched motionless, straddling reeds at the edge of water or on a short dash flying just above the reeds. Attractive pattern of orange, black, and white is distinctive among herons. Feeds on small fish.
Constance Creek, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. June 2009.