bittern

Bittern. This bird is similar to the heron. The KJV uses “bittern” in (Isaiah 14:23; 34:11); and (Zephaniah 2:14), referring to a creature that dwells in ruined places– a symbol of abandonment.

The bittern can be found in marshes all over the world. His loud cry, hollow and drum-like, booms through the darkness while he hunts his prey. The bittern was considered an omen of desolation and a prophecy of evil. Bitterns are large birds, about two feet long, with a gift of camouflage. A bittern may freeze with his long beak tilted skyward and be overlooked among reeds swaying gently in the wind. Bitterns eat frogs, snails, worms, and small fish.

Other translations of the Hebrew word for bittern are hedgehog (Is. 14:23; Zeph 2:14), (RSV) and porcupine (Is. 14:23), (NKJV; (Is. 34:11), RSV, NKJV).

Source: [Anon-Animals]

Bittern (botháurus vulgaris), a shy, solitary, wading bird related to the heron and inhabiting the recesses of swamps, where its startling, booming cry at night gives a frightening impression of desolation. In the D.V., bittern stands for Hebr. qã’ãth (Leviticus 11:18; Isaiah 34:11; Zephaniah 2:14), although by some inconsistency the same Hebrew word is rendered Deut., xiv, 17, by cormorant, and Ps. ci (Hebr., cii), 7, by pelican. The pelican meets all the requirements of all the passages where qã’ãth is mentioned, and would perhaps be a better translation than bittern.

Source: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_the_animals_in_the_Bible]