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a bittern in shallow water in front of reeds

Bittern Botaurus stellaris

The bittern is a thickset heron with all-over bright, pale, buffy-brown plumage covered with dark streaks and bars. It flies on broad, rounded, bowed wings. A secretive bird, very difficult to see, as it moves silently through reeds at water's edge, looking for fish. The males make a remarkable far-carrying, booming sound in spring. Image: Jon Evans (Flickr).

Find out more: RSPB, Suffolk Wildlife TrustiNaturalist


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