Panther Island Adventures!

Panther Island is 2,800 acres of restored wetland and upland habitats situated in the northwest corner of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary's 13,000 acres. It is home to numerous plants and animals including the Florida panther and the iconic wood stork.
The views expressed in user comments do not reflect the views of Audubon. Audubon does not participate in political campaigns, nor do we support or oppose candidates.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Critter of the Week January 16: American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)

It seems like every time I post about a new critter I mention how much I love that species...well it is still true for the American bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)! This lovely bird is actually in the heron family (Order: Pelicaniformes; Family: Ardeidae) and can be mistaken for another bittern, the least bittern (Ixobrychus exilis). These birds are found in marshes where they hide in the grasses and reeds. Their plumage is cryptic and allows them to blend in well with their surroundings. They forage on insects, crustaceans, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and small mammals. Solitary animals, they move slowly and somewhat stiffly. They snatch food with their bills and kill the prey with a rapid shake or bite. Because they can be hard to spy, it is often easier to identify them or recognize their presence through their distinctive call.

American bitterns build their nests out of emergent vegetation (cattails, reeds, etc.) in shallow marshes about 3-8 inches above the water in dense thickets of emergent vegetation. The nests themselves are lined with grass and a typical clutch size is 1-5 eggs. Incubation lasts from 24-28 days.

1 comment:

  1. if you are interested in bats, check out my blog I created it for a science project and could use some feedback!!