Least Bittern

General description.

As its name implies, the Least Bittern is smaller than the American Bittern and Green Heron. This rather common bird, conspicuous by its black and buff markings, is shy and not easily spied. Very rare is the rufous 'Cory's Least Bittern'.

Flight pattern.

Reluctant to fly, the Least Bittern mostly walks and climbs, at a fast pace, through cattails and reeds of freshwater marshes. However, it can sometimes be seen rising over the marsh and quickly dropping out of sight again.

Breeding habits.

The Least Bittern breeds widely from Oregon, North Dakota and Quebec to the West Indies and Mexico.

Calls or song.

The Least Bittern "coos" like the Morning Dove.

Population and distribution.

The ubiquitous Least Bittern can be found, locally, on the Southern Pacific Coast and from the Mid-west to the East Coast; it winters in the southern portion of its breeding range and in South America.

Nesting habits.

Three to six pale blue-green eggs are laid on a platform of cattails and reeds.

Similar birds:

American Bittern Photo American Bittern
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