LRP - Licenses

LRP - Regulations

LRP - Permits

Recreation - Statewide

Recreation - Trapping

Recreation - Fishing

Recreation - Hunting

Env. Protection - Management

Env. Protection - Emergency

Env. Protection - Resources

To sign up for updates or to access your subscriber preferences, please enter your contact information below.



 
Share your observations

Share your observations of plants or non-game animals with the Natural Heritage Inventory.

Rare animals
Find rare and non-game animals.
Rare plants
Learn about plants on the Natural Heritage Working List.
Rare lichens
Discover Wisconsin's lichens.
Natural communities
Explore Wisconsin's natural communities.
Other features
Discover unique resources.
Eagle license plate

Help care for rare plants and animals by ordering an Endangered Resources plate.

Contact information
For information on Wisconsin's rare animals, contact:
Rich Staffen
Conservation Biologist
608-266-4340

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)


Overview

Overview

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus) is a Special Concern bird species in Wisconsin. It is a medium-sized wading bird with a stout body, long neck and bill. It has brown plumage on the back and is streaked with brown and white stripes on the chest and throat. The plumage does not change seasonally. Most distinctive is an elongated, black patch extending from below the eye down the side of the neck. The species can be found in shallow marshes, meadows and wetlands of many sizes but prefers large open marshes and meadows. During the breeding season, from 25 Apr - 31 July, it nests in areas with thick, emergent vegetation like cattails, sedges, reed, and bulrushes. One to five buff-brown to olive-brown colored eggs are laid and incubated by the female for 24-28 days. The species is threatened by the degradation and destruction of wetlands from drainage, filling and conversion to agriculture.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

The table below provides information about the protected status - both state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where occurrences of this species meet NHI data standards and is not meant as a comprehensive map of all observations.

Note: Species recently added to the NHI Working List may temporarily have blank occurrence maps.


Documented locations of Botaurus lentiginosus in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of July 2015.
Summary Information
State StatusSC/M
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS2S3B
Global RankG4
Tracked by NHIY
WWAP SGCN

Species guidance


A guidance document is not available at this time. However, the bird calendar [PDF] contains dates for avoiding impacts to this and other rare Wisconsin birds when planning management activities.

Photos/Video

Photos


American Bittern

Front view.

Photo © Jack Bartholmai.

American Bittern

Photo © Gary Zahm.

American Bittern

Photo © Gary Kramer.

American Bittern

Photo © Jack Bartholmai.

American Bittern

Photo © Len Blumin.

American Bittern

Photo © Len Blumin.

American Bittern

Photo © Len Blumin.

American Bittern

Photo © Len Blumin.


Wildlife Action Plan

Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan graphic

Natural community (habitat) associations

The table below lists the natural communities that are associated with American Bittern. Only natural communities for which American Bittern is "high" (score=3) or "moderate" (score=2) associated are shown. See the key to association scores for complete definitions. Please see the Wildlife Action Plan to learn how this information was developed.

Ecological landscape associations

The table below lists the ecological landscape association scores for American Bittern. The scores correspond to the map (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None). For more information, please see the Wildlife Action Plan.

This map shows the probability of American Bittern occurring in each of Wisconsin's Ecological Landscapes.  Actual scores can be found in the table to the left.


Back to Top


Landscape-Community combinations of highest ecological priority*

Ecological priorities are the combinations of natural communities and ecological landscapes that provide Wisconsin's best opportunities to conserve important habitats for a given Species of Greatest Conservation Need. The 10 highest scoring combinations are considered ecological priorities and are listed below. More than 10 combinations are listed if multiple combinations tied for 10th place. For more information, please see the Wildlife Action Plan.


* Ecological priority score is a relative measure that is not meant for comparison between species. This score does not consider socio-economical factors that may dictate protection and/or management priorities differently than those determined solely by ecological analysis. Further, a low ecological priority score does not imply that management or preservation should not occur on a site if there are important reasons for doing so locally.

Back to Top

Issues/threats and conservation actions

Conservation actions respond to issues or threats, which adversely affect species of greatest conservation need (SGCN) or their habitats. Besides actions such as restoring wetlands or planting resilient tree species in northern communities, research, surveys and monitoring are also among conservation actions described in the WWAP because lack of information can threaten our ability to successfully preserve and care for natural resources.

Threats/issues and conservations actions for rare animals

Back to Top

Last revised: Tuesday, November 28, 2017