Botaurus stellaris

The Birds of Great Britain
Vol.4 - Plate No. 27
Length: 75 cm
The Bittern breeds in Eurasia and Africa, and the birds of northern areas migrate south in the winter. In Japan they breed in small numbers in Honshu and Hokkaido. Bitterns belong to the heron family. Their plumage is of a subdued colour, and they prey on fish. In breeding season they build nests in reed fields on the waterside. When enemies approach their nests while they are incubating eggs or have nestlings, they pluff up their bodies to scare them away, as can be seen in this illustration. In breeding season they call, "bwo, bwo".