Bitterns


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Bitterns

 

two genera of birds of the family of herons and order of Ciconiiformes, the greater bittern (Botaurus) and lesser bittern(loxbrychus). They stay hidden in the under-growth along banks of reservoirs and in dangerous situations conceal themselves by stretching vertically among the plants. They nest on the ground, although the lesser bittern also nests in shrubs and trees, and in distinction from other herons they nest alone. There are four to nine eggs in each laying, and brooding lasts 28 to 30 days. They feed on fish, amphibians, and invertebrates. There are bitterns on every continent. Of the four species of Botaurus, the greater bittern(B. stellaris), which is also called water bull because of the loud spring cry of the male, is found in the USSR. Birds of this species are widely distributed south of the 58th to 64th parallel. Of the eight species of loxbrychus, three exist in the USSR—the lesser bittern (7. minutus), found east of the Altai, and two species in the Far East.

REFERENCE

Ptitsy Sovetskogo Soiuza, vol. 2. Edited by G. P. Dement’ev and N. A. Gladkov. Moscow, 1951.
References in periodicals archive ?
Chris added: "According to local records, the last time a little bittern was spotted in Cleveland was on September 26, 1852.
"Ian B" reported: "Little bittern showed well before retreating to bark for two hours."
"We are hopeful that, one day, bitterns will breed here," said Martin.
Bitterns, heron-like birds which were once prized in medieval banquets, were considered extinct as a breeding species in the UK by the 1870s.
"We are trying to manage the reserve habitat to encourage bitterns to stay on and breed," said a society spokesman.
A bittern is just one of the birds the team will get to know
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Bitterns, one of Britain's rarest birds, will be protected by new scheme
The bittern, a rare member of the heron family which is famous for its booming call, is believed to have been forced to seek refuge from the cold snap in Co Wexford.
He said the rescue package had benefited a wide range of other wildlife as well as turning around the fortunes of the UK's bitterns. The bird, which was once widespread in the UK, still has its stronghold in East Anglia, with two thirds of the booming males recorded in Suffolk and Norfolk, and 10 individuals counted in Cambridgeshire.
Audubon, and he said that bitterns do use a matrix of habitats, and will sometimes nest in the uplands," Mr.