More likely to be heard than seen, the bittern has been found in record numbers in England thanks to its loud call
Bitterns, which were once extinct in the UK, have been found to be at their highest levels ever recorded in England.
As a shy, secretive bird with plumage that perfectly camouflages it against its reed bed habitat, the bittern (Botaurus stellaris) can be easily overlooked.
However, the male’s booming mating call, created by pumping air through their throats and able to be heard from several kilometres away, gives its presence away and it is this distinctive call that has helped researchers count them.
The breeding population has just been discovered to be in the most rudest of health since the 1800s.