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  Rare bird booming again
Updated 22 August 2003, 21.27
A Bittern
Bitterns, a rare bird once thought to be extinct, has made a massive comeback in Britain.

In 1997 there were only 11 male bitterns left in the country, but now conservationists think there are at least 42.

Breeding males can be recognised by their booming call, which can be heard from three miles away.

The birds had come under threat when their habitat - damp, reedy fenland - was drained, damaged or neglected.

Population growth

But intensive work to create new places for the birds to live has helped bring them back to places like Norfolk.

Graham Madge, of the RSPB, said "There's no reason why the population shouldn't grow and grow now."

Bitterns were once very common, and even considered a bit of a luxury meat.

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