Am I interpreting it right? As in I have participated in 1 bounty? Or
is this a grammar error?
In that specific area, it states " bounties" and not " bounty" because the word "bounties" is a fixed name to identify the profile area you can go to which is all about "bounties".
And the  is just a system indication of the number of "bounties" you ...
You posted an answer there, before starting bounty:
Note: If you are offering a bounty on a question that you have already posted an answer to, your minimum spend is 100 reputation (not 50).
Above is quoted from How does the bounty system work?
That is a tab in your Activity page isn't it?
That tab is supposed to be read as "bounties" forever until some future change pops up. The number just shows you how many bounties you have. When reading that, most people think of: How many bounties do this user have? Hence reasoning and logic for the plural noun.
Anyways, it literally says:
1 active ...
Also, if you notice, the bounties tooltip message says:
bounties this user has participated in
alternatively it can be read as:
number of bounties this user has participated in
So in this case, it becomes like:
number of bounties this user has participated in: 1
I would imagine that some users may have gotten burned with awarding the bounties prematurely in the past
I question your characterization of anything that happens here as being "burned".
Let's say you ask a question that gets no answers. You put a bounty on it, and 2 days later, an answer appears. That answer answers your question, so you award it the ...
Bounties are designed to be an irreversible journey down one way street. Once added, they're final - you should be extremely careful when selecting the bounty amount and reason. You should be equally sure when awarding the bounty.
Moderators do have the ability to remove and refund a bounty at their discretion. However, it's extremely unlikely that one ...