Great Bittern booms in the Bourgas Lakes 04/10/2013

The mating calls of two male Great Bitterns were heard by birdwatchers in Bourgas Lakes. The specific bull-like boom was heard among the reeds of former breeding ponds near Vaya Lake. It is too early to say whether the species nests here or not but according the experts the reed beds of breeding pond are suitable nesting place for Great Bitterns. The presence of nests will become clear in a month during the next monitoring.
The mating call or contact call of the male is a deep fog-horn or bull-like boom. It is audible in spring when the mating period starts and the males try to attract the attention of the females. Males are polygamous with each mating with up to five females.
The experts visit the potential nesting places of Great Bitterns early in the morning or soon after sunset. They listen very carefully to hear the booming as it is very difficult to see Great Bitterns among the reeds. The plumage of the bird is like a camouflage. It is often called “the mysterious inhabitant of the lakes”. The ornithologists use the sound of booming males to provoke Great Bitterns to respond and to be found in their natural surroundings.
During the last monitoring that took place within the project “LIFE for the Bourgas Lakes”, funded by EU program LIFE+ and implemented by Bulgarian society for the Protection of Birds, the monitors observed over 200 Glossy Ibises. They had stopped in Bourgas Lakes for a short rest and then left to their breeding areas.