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Bittern Botaurus stellaris L 70-80cm. Shy and superbly camouflaged, hence hard to see in reedbeds. Posture is usually hunched but ‘skypoints’ and sways if alarmed. Bill is dagger-like and legs and feet are long and powerful. Superficially owl-like in flight. Sexes are similar. Adult has brown plumage with intricate dark markings. Juvenile is similar but crown and ‘moustache’ are paler. Voice Territorial males ‘boom’ in spring. Status Favours large reedbeds with shallow water for feeding. Outside breeding season, sometimes seen in smaller wetlands.