How to Draw an American Bittern

In this quick tutorial you'll learn how to draw an American Bittern in 8 easy steps - great for kids and novice artists.

The images above represent how your finished drawing is going to look and the steps involved.

Below are the individual steps - you can click on each one for a High Resolution printable PDF version.

At the bottom you can read some interesting facts about the American Bittern.

Make sure you also check out any of the hundreds of drawing tutorials grouped by category.

How to Draw an American Bittern - Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 1: Make a square with an open bottom for the head with a narrow triangle for the beak at one end.

Step 2: Now we will add some details to the face. Draw a line dividing the triangle in half for the beak. Close the beak with a half circle. Next to the beak, give your bird a small, seed shaped eye. Draw a line from the beak over the eye and slightly down toward the back of the head.

Step 3: The next step is to draw the lower body. Draw a slight curve down from the neck toward where the tail will go. The bittern is in the heron family, so it is quite big!

Step 4: Once that is finished, we draw the wing. You can draw it as most of an oval, starting at the back of the head. Leave an opening for the tail! Add a small triangle at the bottom.

Step 5: Now comes the legs. They look like sideways capital Ls, with long, skinny, triangle shaped toes.

Step 6: The next thing our bittern needs is a tail. Draw a small triangle in the space you left at the bottom of the bird. Draw rounded triangles on either side and above the original one.

Step 7: The bittern is excellent at camouflage, so we need to draw a wavy, wriggly pattern that matches the marshes the bittern calls home. Draw some v or snake shaped lines on your bird's body and wings.

Step 8: To add more fun to your picture, let's make some curved lines under the bird's feet to make a branch for it to perch on. Then you are done! Congratulations! If you decide to color your bittern, they are brown with tan or white markings.

Interesting Facts about American Bitterns

American Bitterns are wading birds that spend their winters on the east coast of the United States and their summers in the Midwest of that country. The American Bittern is a well camouflaged bird. Unless a bird watcher is looking for it, it easily slips into reed patches and other wet areas without much notice. The bird is short and stocky with brown, tan, and white stripes. They grow to be 23-33 inches long and have a wingspan of 36 inches.

Did you know?

  • A nest of American Bitterns is 3-6 eggs.
  • Chicks leave the nest after 6-7 weeks.
  • The irritating call has earned it some other nicknames. For example “mire-drum.”
  • Fossils of these birds were found at the Ichetucknee River in Florida.
  • In order for their camouflage to work, an American Bittern is always alone.

Lesson Plan Note: American Bitterns would be a great addition to a study of animals that use camouflage. There are many lizards, spiders, insects, and even big cats that can demonstrate the art of concealment. A fun way to start is to see how much the class actually knows about camouflage and its uses.