A female bittern makes a well-concealed nest by bending long reed leaves at the water’s edge to create a raised platform. She lays two to five olive-brown eggs, which she incubates without help from the male – who patrols the territory, booming to warn others to stay away. Once the chicks hatch, she alone feeds them, leaving them unguarded while she searches for food.
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Department of Conservation
Photograph by M. F. Soper
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