American Bittern -  Ardeidae  Botaurus  lentiginosus
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Photo Details
June 25, 2003 - Ouray National Wildlife Refuge, Uintah County, Utah - ©NJDavis

L 28  WS 42, Bold stripes on neck, Smudgy brown back, Long pointed yellowish bill 

Lives in fresh water or brackish marshes with tall vegetation.  Stands or walks very slowly then strikes  prey with a lightening fast stab. Eats fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects and small mammals. When alarmed or standing they pose with neck and bill stretched and pointed up and even sway along with the vegetation all of which serves as a camoflage. They are very secretive birds and are solitary feeders. They lay 2-7 buffy olive-brown eggs on a platform nest made of cattails, sticks and grasses placed in dense marsh vegetation a few inches above water.  Males may be polygamous.  Altricial and have just one brood.  Incubation period is 28-29 day.

Seasonal Distribution
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Utah Range Map

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