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Ixobrychus exilis  Least Bittern
In Louisiana, these reed-nesting and somewhat colonial piscivores are almost completely restricted to the Coastal Marsh Region. The atlasers did not find evidence of breeding American Bitterns (Botaurus lentiginosus), which have nested in Louisiana in the past and are seen regularly in the spring at places like the Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge in Cameron Parish.

photo Copyright 1999 by Mark Swan 
male (female has a brown cap and back)

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Nycticorax nycticorax  Black-crowned Night-Heron
These branch-nesting, colonial piscivores breed in the Mississippi/Red River and Coastal Marsh regions, and they seem to be most common in southern Louisiana.

photo Copyright 1999 by Bill Bergen 
male or female

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Nyctanassa violacea  Yellow-crowned Night-Heron
The distribution of these branch-nesting crustacean predators and piscivores is similar to that of Black-crowned Night-Herons, but the Yellow-crowneds predominate in the Atchafalaya River Basin and at many other inland bottomland sites. The "Possible" records may represent nonbreeding individuals or birds that have commuted some distance from colonies and other breeding sites to feed.

inset (left) Copyright 1999 by Brian Miller 
right photo Copyright 1999 by Bill Bergen 
male(s) and/or female(s)