Australasian Bittern

An Australasian Bittern in flight

Scientific Name: Botaurus poiciloptilus

Size: Total Length 72 cm

What does it look like?

The Australasian Bittern is cryptically-plumaged dark to mid-brown and pale buff, with the markings of the throat and back arranged in a longitudinal pattern. When disturbed it freezes, with its head and bill pointing skywards, the longitudinal pattern mimicking the surrounding reeds of the wetlands within which it lives. In this way it usually avoids detection, although the white of the throat can betray its presence to the careful observer.

Where is it found?

The Australasian Bittern is found throughout south-eastern australia, including Tasmania, and also in far south-western WA. Regular seasonal movements have been recorded within populations within the Riverina and southern Victoria.

What are its habitats & habits?

As it moves within the reeds of Its wetland home it feeds on frogs and small fish, using its long pointed bill to seize its prey from near the surface of the water or amongst the vegetation.

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Front cover of Australia's Birdwatching Megaspots book showing a picture of an Eastern Spinebill

This species features in my book¬†Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots

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