New York Natural Heritage Program
Least Bittern
Ixobrychus exilis (Gmelin, 1789)
Birds

New York State Distribution [-]
Least Bitterns are largely restricted to the Lake Ontario and St. Lawrence River plains, and the Lower Hudson River Valley with scattered records from Long Island, Lake Champlain, the Finger Lakes, and the Mohawk Valley. They are generally absent from the Appalachian Highlands and mountainous parts of New York State (Andrle and Carroll 1988, Gibbs and Melvin 1992). On rare occasions birds have been reported mid-winter along the coast.

Global Distribution [-]
The breeding range of the Least Bittern extends from North America to South America. In North America, the breeding range extends from southern Manitoba and north-central United States to southeastern Canada (Ontario and Quebec), eastern Maine, and southern New Brunswick south to western and southern Texas, the Gulf coast, Florida, and Greater Antilles and west to central Montana, Utah (Great Salt Lake, formerly), eastern Colorado, and south-central New Mexico. Least Bitterns also breed in western North America in southern Oregon, interior and southern coastal California, central Baja California, and southern coastal Sonora. In Latin America, breeding Least Bitterns can be found in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, and elsewhere. The Least Bittern breeding range extends widely across South America including central Colombia, coastal Peru, and east of the Andes from Venezuela south to northern Argentina and southern Brazil (AOU 1983, Gibbs and Melvin 1992).
Best Places to See
• Constitution Marsh- New York State Important Bird Area (Putnam County)
• Lake View Wildlife Management Area (Oswego County)
• Tonawanda Wildlife Management Area (Genesee, Niagara, Orleans Counties)