Migratory Birds of the Great Lakes University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute
 about habitat birds + science 20 birds
aerialist raptors
copyright UW Sea Grant, writer: L. Wiland, design: T. Yao contact us credits

Least Bittern, Ixobrychus exilis

Most Great Lakes bird watchers know of the Great Blue Heron, the largest of our regional heron species. Far fewer people are familiar with the heron on the opposite end of the size spectrum: the Least Bittern. Fewer still have seen this reclusive bird—furtive and well camouflaged, this tiny heron is one of the most difficult North American marsh birds to spot. Despite its inconspicuousness, however, the species can be fairly common within appropriate habitat.