bittern(redirected from American bitterns)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
bittern,common name for migratory marsh birds of the family Ardeidae (heronheron
, common name for members of the family Ardeidae, large wading birds including the bittern and the egret, found in most temperate regions but most numerous in tropical and subtropical areas.
..... Click the link for more information. family). The American bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus), often called "stake driver" because of a territorial male's booming call in the spring, is widely distributed in E North America. It is mostly nocturnal and feeds on frogs, fish, and insects. When pursued, the bittern escapes detection by standing motionless with its bill uplifted, its brown and yellow markings and striped foreneck blending with the marsh grasses. It is about 2 to 3 ft (61–91 cm) tall; the western and eastern least bitterns, genus Ixobrychus, are about half this size. Of the 12 species of bitterns, 8 constitute the smaller birds. The female bittern builds the nest, which consists of an unkempt arrangement of sedge grass and reeds. The nests are built on the ground along rivers or lakeshores and house the clutch of 3 to 6 eggs. Both male and female share the incubation duties. Bitterns are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Ciconiiformes, family Ardeidae.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved. www.cc.columbia.edu/cu/cup/
Concentrated sea water or brine containing the bromides and magnesium and calcium salts left in solution after sodium chloride has been removed by crystallization.
Any of various herons of the genus Botaurus characterized by streaked and speckled plumage.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
any wading bird of the genera Ixobrychus and Botaurus, related and similar to the herons but with shorter legs and neck, a stouter body, and a booming call: family Ardeidae, order Ciconiiformes
the bitter liquid remaining after common salt has been crystallized out of sea water: a source of magnesium, bromine, and iodine compounds
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005