Colloquial names for the species include “thunder-pumper” and “mire-drum” because of its deep and booming call. There is also a sense of eerieness to it, that, along with its secretive nature, intensifies the bird’s air of mystery.

This bird’s deep, resonant calls have earned it the nicknames “thunder-pumper” and “stake-driver.” A tiny heron, furtive and surpassingly well camouflaged, the Least Bittern is one of the most difficult North American marsh birds to spot. This bird’s deep, resonant calls have earned it nicknames like the “thunder-pumper” and the “stake-driver.” [American Bittern “oonk-a-loonk” calls, repeated] It’s an American Bittern. It is seldom seen as it slips through the reeds, but its odd pumping or booming song, often heard at dusk or at night, carries for long distances across the marsh.

Description: Size: 58-85 cm in length with a 92-115 cm wingspan, weighing 370-1072 g. Plumage: Brown overall, streaked with white on the underside. You’re listening to one of the most peculiar and memorable of all North American bird voices. The American bittern’s call is distinctive, and similar to the sound of an old wooden water pump. She builds a mound or platform about 3.5 to 8 inches above the water’s surface, using dead, dry reeds, sedges, cattails, … [American Bittern “oonk-a-loonk” calls, repeated] You’re listening to one of the most peculiar and memorable of all North American bird voices.

Medium-sized cousins of herons, American bitterns spend most of their time in dense marshes, out of view. The eerie calls for which it known has won the species many nicknames: stake-driver, thunder-pumper, and mire-drum. American Bittern. Habitats.

Extensive freshwater marshes are the favored haunts of this large, stout, solitary heron.

Colloquial names for the species include “thunder-pumper” and “mire-drum” because of its deep and booming call. The American bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) is a stocky wading bird best known for the male’s unique, loud, guttural call which has led to it being given a number of nicknames, including ‘thunder pumper’, ‘water belcher’ and ‘mire-drum’. Where to watch: Large marshes, protected areas with more than 40 acres of marsh.Seek out beds of cattails, reeds, or grass in shallow water up to a foot deep. Other Names Avetoro Lentiginoso (Spanish) Butor d'Amérique (French) He inflates his esophagus, then expels the air to create the noise, thrusting his head forward and snapping his beak, repeating the gulp-blow-thrust-snap up to 10 times in a row.

The strange sound is the reason for the American bittern’s nicknames: “thunder-pumper”; “stake-driver”; and “water-belcher.” How does a male do it? Scientific name: Botaurus lentiginosus. Despite its inconspicuousness, however, the species can be rather common within appropriate habitat in its breeding range. This bird’s deep, resonant calls have earned it the nicknames “thunder-pumper” and “stake-driver.” Its name in the bird book? One of our most secretive and best-camouflaged birds, the American bittern, announces itself in the spring, thanks to a booming, low-frequency call—pump-er-lunk; pump-er-lunk—that can carry for up to a kilometre.



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