Twenty adult male American Bitterns (Botaurus lentiginosus) were marked on summer range in central North America with satellite tracking Platform Transmitter Terminals (PTTs) to document migration routes and wintering range. Nineteen complete fall migration routes were documented for 17 individuals. Of the successful migrations, 63% (n = 12) went to southern Florida, 32% (n = 6) to southern Louisiana, and 5% (n = 1) to the Gulf coast of Texas. Spring migrations for nine birds were documented, and 78% (n = 7) showed fidelity to breeding range. Two complete migrations for two individuals were documented, and they demonstrated fidelity to winter range. The longest, fastest movement documented was 2,300 km in less than 74 hr. Extensive, post-breeding dispersal was not observed in the adult male American Bitterns in this study. Six male American Bitterns were marked with PTTs on winter range in Florida and Texas. Spring migration for these birds was documented to Nebraska, North Dakota, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. Sixty-seven American Bitterns were marked with Very High Frequency radio transmitters on summer ranges, and 16% (n = 11) were located on wintering grounds used by the satellite-tracked birds, further documenting the importance of the Everglades and the Louisiana coast as winter habitat for American Bitterns that breed in Central North America.
Additional publication details
Migration and wintering areas of American Bitterns (Botaurus lentiginosus) that summer in central North America as determined by satellite and radio telemetry, 1998-2003