Booming bittern's love song raises breeding hopes at Old Moor

OFFICIALS at the RSPB’s Old Moor reserve at Manvers are hoping a rare water bird will soon be breeding there.

A bittern has been heard making its distinctive booming mating call at dawn and dusk on the reserve.

Now staff are hoping he will find a female to breed with and help boost the scarce bird, which is entirely reliant on reedbeds to live in.

Old Moor is part of a nationwide programme to bring the bird back from the brink of extinction—there were just 11 booming males in 1997.

The bittern’s distinctive call sounds like someone blowing over an empty bottle.

Assistant warden Katie Thorpe said: “While it is fantastic to have such a special bird on site, it’s no lullaby he’s singing.

“A bittern’s call can carry a long, long way and when you have him for a near neighbour, there's no escape from his booming love song.”

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