Could your kids imitate a Bittern booming?

The extraordinary call of the Bittern which males pump out from deep within the reed beds has no equal in terms of charisma, weirdness and the ability to conjure a sense of ancient wilderness. Its deep, low, penetrating resonance make this enigmatic bird something even more special than its remarkable plumage and its great rarity and inaccessibility. Once heard this ‘booming’ is never forgotten but could you, or more precisely, your kids be hidden ‘boomers’?

We return to Minsmere this year for another romp through Suffolk’s finest and I’d like your help to engage the nation with the wonderful Bittern.

No rules . . .

Ideally, it would be great if your kids, maybe ten and younger but there are no rules here, could attempt to reproduce the unique call. I’m thinking that household utensils . . . old kettles, hoover tubes, dustbins, buckets, whatever, but please be absurdly imaginative, could be ‘played’ by these ‘baby boomers’ . . . Maybe a pair could have a ‘boom-off’, maybe they could dress to look like the bird, maybe they could display or regurgitate some food into their nest. Or maybe not.

If you and your nestlings can rise to this challenge then could you upload a maximum of a 30 second clip of mobile phone video in horizontal format, with as good sound as possible, to Dropbox or similar and email a link to boomers@chrispackham.co.uk

Please include your contact details so we can contact you if your entries reach the top twenty and we want to offer national stardom.

And of course, whilst I will always be in admiration of scientific accuracy and integrity . . . the amusement angle needs to be central to this performance!

Best

Chris