Sound Clip: Botaurus Stellaris by Tony Whitehead
This is a recording of a bittern (Botaurus stellaris) from Shapwick Heath National Nature Reserve in Somerset, UK, this year. To my ears its one of the more remarkable bird sounds. This individual is calling, or “booming” as its known, with a fundamental ferquency of 172Hz. For this reason it won’t be heard on tiny laptop speakers! The call is simply the male advertising its presence and proclaiming it territory and the bird will do this, in the UK, from March through to July. As well as being remarkable it is also a rare bird, its favoured wetland habitats being widely lost over the past century. However, work to recreate these places is proving successful and the bird is starting to be heard more widely.