National Geographic : 1913 Jun
Photo by E.G. Tabor A LEAST BITTERN ON HER NEST Wet, grassy marshes, such as rail love, or reed-grown ponds, are the resorts of these retiring secretive little birds. With outstretched necks and lowered heads they make their way without difficulty throughthe jungle ofroots and stalks. Sometimes they climb up a slender reed and, hanging on like marsh wrens, survey theirsurroundings. They take wing almost from beneath one's feet, and, with a low, frightened qua, fly slowly for a short distance and then drop back into the grass. During the breeding season one may hear what presumably is the voice of only themale-a soft, slowly re peated, dove-like coo, coo, coo, coo, coo. It floats over the marsh like the voice of a spirit bird.