Botanus lentiginosus
(American Bittern)

Order: Ciconiiformes
Order Description: Bitterns, Herons, Egrets,and Ibises
Family: Ardeidae
Family Description: Bittern

Physical Description:
Buffy brown with a streaky breast. When disturbed it stands still with its bill pointed skyward. In flight its dark primaries contrast with the buffyClick word for definition brown back.

A deep "gulping" gurgle is made.

Breeds from southeastern Alaska, east to Newfoundland, south across upper and middle U.S. and locally along Gulf Coast and down to Mexico, Winters from southwestern British Columbia, southeast through parts of U.S. to southern Mexico.

Found on freshwater bogs, swamps, wet fields, cattail and bullrush marshes, brackishClick word for definition and saltwater, and meadows.  In Idaho, also occurs on streams, canals, reservoirs, and wet meadows.

Eats mainly fishes, crayfishes, amphibians, mice, shrews, and other animals, and insects.

NocturnalClick word for definition, crepuscularClick word for definition. Nests on ground, never is trees or bushes.  Mostly solitary, but may nest in loose colonies.  Species is easily overlooked and may be quite common.

Female (apparently) incubatesClick word for definition 2-6 eggs (usually 3-5), for 24-28 days. Young leave nest at about 14 days.

Element Code: Unknown
Status: Protected nongame species
Global Rank: G4
State Rank: S4
National Rank: Unknown

Important State References:
No references available at this time.

Written by Jason Karl, 2000.
Additional information by C. Trost, 2000
Design by Ean Harker©1999, 2000.