American bittern

See under 1 (def 1).
any of several tawny brown herons that inhabit reedy marshes, as Botaurus lentiginosus (American bittern) of North America, and B. stellaris, of Europe.
any of several small herons of the genus Ixobrychus, as I. exilis (least bittern) of temperate and tropical North and South America.
Historical Examples

The American bittern nests on the ground and lays three to five pale brownish eggs.
Color Key to North American Birds Frank M. Chapman

any wading bird of the genera Ixobrychus and Botaurus, related and similar to the herons but with shorter legs and neck, a stouter body, and a booming call: family Ardeidae, order Ciconiiformes
the bitter liquid remaining after common salt has been crystallized out of sea water: a source of magnesium, bromine, and iodine compounds

heron-like bird, 13c., botor, from Old French butor “bittern,” perhaps from Gallo-Romance *butitaurus, from Latin butionem “bittern” + taurus “bull” (see steer (n.)); according to Pliny, so called because of its booming voice, but this seems fanciful. Modern form from 1510s.

is found three times in connection with the desolations to come upon Babylon, Idumea, and Nineveh (Isa. 14:23; 34:11; Zeph. 2:14). This bird belongs to the class of cranes. Its scientific name is Botaurus stellaris. It is a solitary bird, frequenting marshy ground. The Hebrew word (kippod) thus rendered in the Authorized Version is rendered “porcupine” in the Revised Version. But in the passages noted the kippod is associated with birds, with pools of water, and with solitude and desolation. This favours the idea that not the “porcupine” but the “bittern” is really intended by the word.


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