While doing some online research for something, I came across an archived article from the New York Times dated September 20, 1896:
A young South American bittern fell exhausted in the rear yard of 411 West Thirty-third Street yesterday. August and Willie Schramm, two boys who live at that number, caught the bird. It fought desperately with its sharp claws and bill and uttered a sound which resembled closely that made by an alarm clock going off inside a box.
The boys put the bird into a box, which they tied securely with twine. They then took the bittern to the Central Park Menagerie and turned it over to Director Smith. It was placed in the pigeon house, where it immediately assume its habitual attitude of quiet watchfulness.
The South American bittern when at home makes relentless warfare on fish and birds of its own size and smaller, which it devours greedily. It is very difficult to raise in captivity.
Boy, they don't write up natural history reports like that anymore! Just looking around at my own personal bird library and online resources, I admire the ability to id an off course South American bittern in the 1890s.