Fort Boise Wildlife Management Area, Canyon County.
Along Sand Hollow Creek, 1/4 mile from WMA parking lot on Sharp Lane.
43 48.283N x 116 58.969W (WSG84 data base)
HABITAT WHERE THE BIRD WAS OBSERVED
Field/cattails- narrow spit with the Creek/canal on one side and a shallow pond on the other.
SIGHTING DURATION, CONDITIONS, and EQUIPMENT USED
1 minute duration. It flushed from the cattails just 10 yards away from me. Excellent view in full sun (10:20 am). It slowly climbed and then made a slow 3/4 circle around me, fairly low, before departing to the NW. Also viewed bird with 10x42 binos.
DID YOU TAKE NOTES?
No, not at all
DID YOU CONSULT A FIELD GUIDE OR OTHER REFERENCE WORK?
No, not at all
DESCRIPTION OF THE BIRD(s)
Family = Ardeidae, Wading bird
Seen at point-blank range when it took to the air. Large, chunky body, long neck, long yellow bill, brownish-yellow with white & brown streaked throat. Had a distinct hunchback look as it flew, with a throat/breast that jutted down and trailing yellowish legs.
BEHAVIOR OF THE BIRD(s)
See above comments.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THE BIRD, AND WHAT CLINCHED THE IDENTIFICATION FOR YOU?
Immediately positivity ID'd the bird. Size, shape, profile, flight pattern are all unmistakable for AMBI.
I was actually pheasant hunting and didn't have a camera handy.
HOW DID YOU ELIMINATE SIMILAR SPECIES? WHAT WERE THEY?
Black-crowned Night-Heron would be the only other possibility that would approach the bittern in sizehabitat. This bird was larger, much longer-necked, browner with boldly striped throat.
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS (AND SIMILAR) SPECIES?
Very familiar with the species and related species from 40+ years of serious birding, all across the US.
DESCRIBE YOUR GENERAL BIRDING EXPERIENCE
See above comment. Would rate expertise as "advanced".
WERE PHOTO(S), VIDEO, AND/OR AUDIO OBTAINED FROM THIS SIGHTING?
FIRST ROUND VOTING:
Description supports the identification of American Bittern.
Description is convincing
I'm convinced that this was an American Bittern.
Focus on structure of this bird during flight, along with other details, sufficiently described to accept.
Observer did a good job eliminating the superficially similar Black-crowned Night Heron
Pretty convincing description for A. Bittern although they aren't really that much larger than Night-Herons.