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Marshbirds

Two great egrets wading on the edge of a wetland.Marshbirds can be found in a variety of wetland habitats at the Upper Souris NWR.  They are usually alone or in pairs and are easily identified.

 

American Bittern  The American bittern blends well with its surroundings and is often difficult to spot.  It prefers to feed along the shoreline, amongst the cattail and bullrush.  It eats small fish, giant waterbugs, frogs, and small snakes.  Its call is easy to distinguish and is often referred to as a "pump-er-lunk" call.

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Great Blue Heron      The great blue heron is a very large bird, with a wingspan of up to 7 feet.  It has a gray-blue color and is often seen foraging on the edges of marshes and rivers.  It prefers to eat fish but will also eat frogs, snakes, salamanders, and shrews.

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Great Egret      The great egret is a large white heron seen in freshwater and saltwater marshes.  They usually arrive in North Dakota around the middle of August.  They prefer to eat fish, frogs, and snakes.

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Sandhill Crane  Sandhill cranes are long-necked, long-legged birds with varying shades of gray, yellow, and reddish brown plumage.  They are often seen feeding in open grasslands and crop fields.  Their call is very distinctive and can be heard for miles.  Some of these birds live to be more than 20 years old.

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Western Grebe  The western grebe has a distinct black and white coloration and is the largest of the North American grebes.  During courtship, the male and female pair run side-by-side to perform the "rushing ceremony".  They prefer freshwater lakes and eat fish, mollusks, salamanders, and aquatic insects.

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Last Updated: Mar 11, 2014
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