American Bittern - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image American Bittern - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image American Bittern - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image American Bittern - Photo Copyright Ward Cameron 2003 - Click to view a larger image  
Click on an image (if available) to see a larger version

Mountain Nature Network has become THE place for learning about the birds of the Canadian Rockies.

American Bittern
Botaurus lentiginosus

Heron-like Birds
Heron Family (Ardeidae)

Size: Length: 60-70 cm Wingspan: 107 cm

Description: Although uncommon, you are more likely to hear the low, booming call of the American Bittern than you are to spot it. The call sounds like a pair of deep, throaty swallows. Perfectly camouflaged, it resembles a drab coloured, short-necked heron. Its back is mottled brown, and its chest and neck yellowish-beige with reddish-brown vertical stripes. Its beak is yellow. There is a yellow eyebrow stripe, and a narrow, black streak beginning at the base of the bill, and continuing down the neck. The legs are greenish-yellow. The combination of drab markings, and vertical streaking helps the bittern blend with the reeds of most marshes. When startled, bitterns freeze with their beak pointed toward the sky. Only very careful observation will see through this effective ploy.

Similar Species: 

Range: 

Habitat: 

Diet: Bitterns feed on just about anything that moves in the marsh--frogs, minnows, tadpoles, or insects.

Nesting: A small platform of marsh plants with 4-6 olive-brown or buff eggs is hidden amidst cattails and bulrushes.

Search for recent American Bittern sightings

Hire an expert guide to help you locate American Bittern

Bird watching in the Canadian Rockies offers endless opportunities for seeing new species. Mountain Nature Network is your source for birding and bird biology.


All Material Ward Cameron 2005

 

 

Birds by Common Name:

 

Birds Listed by Latin Name: