Appears in

Oxford Companion to Food

Oxford Companion to Food

By Alan Davidson

Published 2014

  • About

bittern Botaurus stellaris, a marsh bird of Europe and Asia, which belongs to the same family as the heron. The bittern is a large bird (average total length 75 cm/30") and was prized as food in Britain in the 16th century. The flavour has been compared to that of hare.

The bittern makes migratory journeys from the temperate regions of Europe and Asia to India and Africa. It has close relations in N. America, S. Africa, and Australasia.