American Bittern

Botaurus lentiginosus Order: Pelecaniformes Family: Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)
Botaurus lentiginosus Order: Pelecaniformes Family: Ardeidae (Herons, Egrets, and Bitterns)

This master of camouflage breeds in northern wetlands and winters in southern ones. It can hide amazingly well among marsh vegetation, but its presence is easy to detect because of its unique, funky call, which gives the species several nicknames including “stake-driver,” “thunder-pumper,” “water-belcher,” and “mire-drum.” Another nickname, “shitepoke,” was given for an entirely different reason: the shite comes from a similar four-letter word that streams out of the birds on takeoff.

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