In June 2001, we located an active Ixobrychus exilis (Least Bittern) nest in Bass Harbor marsh on Mount Desert Island, Hancock County, ME. Only 2 other descriptions of Least Bittern nests exist for Maine, although based on other breeding evidence, the species is known to breed elsewhere in the state. We found the nest in a 0.7-ha Typha sp. (cattail)-dominated area within a larger (3.5 ha) freshwater wetland located ≈120 m from an 88-ha estuary. During the breeding season, most Least Bitterns in Maine and elsewhere are found in wetlands of greater size, usually >10 ha.
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Vol. 18 • No. 3