Bittern by Richard Woodhouse 1/10
Bittern by Jackie Dent 2/10
Bittern flying by Brian Macfarlane 3/10
Bittern by Elizabeth Dack 4/10
Bittern by Sam Hall 5/10
Bittern taking off from reed cover by Mark Ollett 6/10
Bittern flying by Elizabeth Dack 7/10
Bittern in reeds by David Colk 8/10
Bittern by Elizabeth Dack 9/10
Bittern by Elizabeth Dack 10/10

Bittern Botaurus stellaris

One of the rarest breeding birds in the UK, the elusive, well camouflaged bittern can be found all year round in the reedbeds of the Norfolk Broads. Their characteristic booming calls can be heard from March until June.

You can listen to the bittern's call by clicking below:Bittern booming on a Norfolk broad by Tolly music


Conservation status

Endangered - The bittern is one of the rarest breeding birds in the UK and is a Red List species.

Related questions & advice

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Did you know?

The male bittern uses his booming call to attract a mate and it can be heard up to 2 kilometres away.

In former centuries bitterns were hunted for food in Norfolk.

A local Norfolk name for the bittern is butterbump.

There are more bitterns dead in glass cases in Norfolk than alive in Norfolk reedbeds – bitterns were a favoured target of Victorian taxidermists and egg collectors.

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