Hundreds of different waterfowl and wading bird species frequent Kern NWR during the migration season, including this American Coot. From up close, the American Coot has a dark band that can be distinguished at the bill tip. Its body is grey with the head and neck darker than the rest of the body. The call is a high-pitched squeaking honk somewhat like a goose's but more hollow sounding. (USFWS)
American bitterns are almost always solitary and can be difficult to see. They often hide among wetland vegetation, walking slowly as they forage. American bitterns typically hunt in low light, catching food with their bill and killing prey with biting or shaking movements. Flight is stiff and fairly clumsy with rapid wingbeats.