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Great Bittern

Great Bittern
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Ciconiiformes
Family: Ardeidae
Genus: Botaurus
Species: stellata
Binomial name
Botaurus stellata

The Great Bittern (Botaurus stellata ) is a wading bird of the heron family Ardeidae.

It is a large (24"-34"), chunky, brown bird, very similar to the American Bittern, Botaurus lentiginosa.

It is declining in much of its temperate European and Asian range. It is resident in the milder west and south, but migrates south from areas where the water freezes in winter.

This bittern is usually well-hidden in Phragmites reedbeds. Usually solitary, it walks stealthily seeking amphibians and fish. If it senses that it has been seen, it becomes motionless, with its bill pointed upward, causing it to blend into the reeds. It is most active at dawn and dusk.

Folk names: barrel-maker, bog-bull, bog hen, bog-trotter, butterbump.

Botaurus: Latin for bittern; stellata: Latin for starry, in reference to its plumage.