Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial – Bird of the Month for April

American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)
American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Madison, WI -(Ammoland.com)- This month, listen for the return of the American Bittern at a wetland near you!

In 1916, the United States and Canada signed the Migratory Bird Treaty to protect birds across state and national borders. To celebrate 100 years of bird conservation, each month will feature a native Wisconsin bird species that has benefited from the protection and cooperative conservation set forth in the Migratory Bird Treaty. For more information on the Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial and other Birds of the Month, visit dnr.wi.gov, keyword “bird treaty.”

April’s Bird of the Month is the American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus). These cryptic, heron-like waterbirds once nested across Wisconsin. However, due to extensive loss of wetlands in southern parts of the state they are mainly found breeding in northern and central Wisconsin today. Protection and management of wetlands to prevent degradation and maintain large blocks of habitat in different stages of ecological succession benefit these wading birds.

Wetlands on publicly managed lands as well as private lands enrolled in programs such as the Wetland Reserve Program attract American bitterns.

  • These bitterns are remarkably camouflaged and, when their necks are extended, can closely mimic grasses or reeds swaying in the wind.
  • American bitterns are most readily found by their pump-like call that carries for miles in April and May, which has earned them nicknames such as thunderpumper!
  • Because they are so difficult to detect, the DNR and its partners initiated an annual statewide survey in 2008 that targets this and other secretive marsh bird species such as rails, grebes, and snipe.
  • Though they breed as far north as Newfoundland, Canada, by October most American bitterns reach wintering areas in the southern United States, Caribbean, and Central America.

About The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WIDNR):

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is charged with sustaining and enhancing Wisconsin’s natural resources and environment. A cornerstone of our mission is providing for outdoor recreation in our state. The WIDNR Facebook page is a place for the outdoor recreating community to share information about fun in Wisconsin’s outdoors.

For more information, visit: http://dnr.wi.gov.

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mark peters
mark peters
5 years ago

I have home in Illinois . Its in central part of the state. I am worried about the lack of Red Wing Black Birds. I am only seeing 1or 2 in a one mile stretch on country road. My home is in country surrounded by woods and brush there not there. So whats up ?