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John James Audubon noted that a young captive least bittern was able to walk with ease between two books standing 4 cm (1.6 in) apart. Researchers tracked breeding Least Bitterns in western New York and found the birds used about 24 acres while feeding themselves and their offspring—about the area of 10 city blocks. Given bitterns’ extremely cryptic nature, researchers are just beginning to understand the birds’ movement patterns. In A. Poole, P. Stettenheim and F. Gill (editors). John James Audubon noted that a young captive Least Bittern was able to walk with ease in a 1.5-inch gap between two books, even though the bird's body normally measured 2.25 inches across—indicating that it could compress its body to an extraordinary degree to squeeze between marsh stems and reeds. Where least bitterns do breed, however, they can occur in densities as high as 15 nests per hectare (Poole et al. With a black bill, entirely black back, and rich chestnut cheeks, belly, and wing coverts, this distinctive bird was highly prized by bird “collectors” as soon as it was discovered in Florida in 1885. Nevertheless, With a black bill, entirely black back, and rich chestnut cheeks, belly, and wing coverts, this distinctive bird was highly prized by bird “collectors” as soon as it was discovered in Florida in 1885. According to the Species at Risk Public Registry resource, the total population size of the Least bittern in Canada is around 1,500 pairs. IOC World Bird List (v 4.1). You might also see the birds as they fly from roosting to foraging sites, or returning to the nest with food. Cory’s Least Bitterns were seen frequently around the Great Lakes, especially around Toronto, in the late 1800s, before its favored marshes were destroyed. The furtive Least Bittern is often little more than a voice in the reeds that is frustratingly difficult to locate. 1944) breeding range of the Least Bittern in California; numbers have declined at least moderately and the range has retracted greatly in the Central Valley. [17], Initially, Cory's least bittern was accepted as a valid species, with Elliott Coues and Richard Bowdler Sharpe both including it in published species lists. This wetland complex consists of 60% wetlands (including The least bittern is protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. complex is located in the northern part of the Least Bittern breeding range (Gibbs et al. Information, images and range maps on over 1,000 birds of North America, including sub-species, vagrants, introduced birds and possibilities. Explore {{searchView.params.phrase}} by colour family Close ). A second brood is often produced in a season. They’re smartly clad in chestnut, buff, and black, with the male more richly colored than the female. [11] Nonetheless, in 1896 Frank Chapman wrote a detailed paper supporting its retention as a valid species. It has white stripes on its sides and yellow-gold patches on its wings that are visible when it is in flight. Audubon's climate model projects a 69 percent loss of current summer range by 2080, with a partially inland shift of summer range. In w. Its face and the sides of the neck are light brown; it has yellow eyes and a yellow bill. In Ontario, the Least bittern is mostly found south of the Canadian Shield, especially in the central and eastern part of the province. An elusive marsh bird, the Least Bittern breeds primarily in the southern parts of Ontario, Manitoba, and Quebec, as well as the Maritimes. The most obvious characteristic for identifying the least bittern is its buffy wing patches. Walk slowly and pause to listen for the rapid, quiet coo-coo-coo-coo song of males. [5], The least bittern forms a superspecies with the little bittern and yellow bittern. 17. [23], The bird has a large range and a large total population, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed its conservation status as being of "Least Concern". Get Instant ID help for 650+ North American birds. Plan a dawn outing in May or June to a freshwater or brackish marsh, one with dense, tall vegetation like cattail or other reeds. These birds nest in large marshes with dense vegetation from southern Canada to northern Argentina. The least bittern was originally described in 1789 by J. F. Gmelin based on specimens from Jamaica. This is a terrestrial bird species that has a large global range of up to 6 million square kilometers. Browse 149 least bittern stock photos and images available or search for anhinga or bare eyed pigeons to find more great stock photos and pictures. The northwestern corner of the Least Bittern’s breeding range is southern Manitoba, where the species has been found in 18 wetlands: 12 in the Interlake region and six farther south, with most birds in two especially large wetlands: Rat River Swamp and Brokenhead Swamp … [6][8], A dark rufous morph, I. e. neoxenus, termed "Cory's bittern" or "Cory's least bittern" was originally described by Charles Cory as a separate species in 1885 from a specimen collected on or near the Caloosahatchee River, near Lake Okeechobee, in southwest Florida. The least bittern range extends from southeastern Canada south through the U.S. and east to the Atlantic Coast, but they are absent along the entire Appalachian Mountain range. Least Bittern. American Bitterns breed farther north and over a larger portion of the continent. Least Bittern Range - CWHR B050 [ds608] Vector datasets of CWHR range maps are one component of California Wildlife Habitat Relationships (CWHR), a comprehensive information system and predictive model for California''s wildlife. When alarmed, the least bittern freezes in place with its bill pointing up, turns its front and both eyes toward the source of alarm, and sometimes sways to resemble wind-blown marsh vegetation. These birds make cooing and clucking sounds, usually in early morning or near dusk. Usually seen perched motionless, straddling reeds at the edge of water or on a short flying. Get Instant ID help for 650+ North American birds larger version of this map ( PDF ) Current historic... A 69 percent loss of habitat chestnut, buff, and nesting of Least bitterns do,., quiet coo-coo-coo-coo song of males Baja … Breeding biology of the Least.. Dusk, when there is another peak of activity like many marsh-dwelling,... Listen for the bitterns and F. 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