Black bittern

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(Redirected from Ixobrychus flavicollis)

Black bittern
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Ardeidae
Genus: Ixobrychus
I. flavicollis
Binomial name
Ixobrychus flavicollis
(Latham, 1790)

Dupetor flavicollis

The black bittern (Ixobrychus flavicollis) is a bittern of Old World origin, breeding in tropical Asia from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka east to China, Indonesia, and Australia. It is mainly resident, but some northern birds migrate short distances.


In flight in Kolkata, West Bengal, India

It is a fairly large species at 58 cm (23 in) in length, being by some margin the largest bittern in the genus Ixobrychus. Compared to related species, it has a longish neck and long yellow bill. The adult is uniformly black above, with yellow neck sides. It is whitish below, heavily streaked with brown. The juvenile is like the adult, but dark brown rather than black. They can be difficult to see, given their skulking lifestyle and reed bed habitat, but tend to fly fairly frequently when the all black upperparts makes them unmistakable.


Their breeding habitat is reed beds. They nest on platforms of reeds in shrubs, or sometimes in trees. Three to five eggs are laid.


Black bitterns feed on insects, fish, and amphibians.

Conservation status[edit]


Black bitterns are not listed as threatened on the Australian Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

State of Victoria, Australia[edit]

  • The black bittern is listed as threatened on the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act (1988).[2] Under this act, an Action Statement for the recovery and future management of this species has not yet been prepared.[3]
  • On the 2007 advisory list of threatened vertebrate fauna in Victoria, the black bittern is listed as vulnerable.[4]



  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Ixobrychus flavicollis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22697334A93608997. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22697334A93608997.en. Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  2. ^ Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria Archived July 18, 2005, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria Archived September 11, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment (2007). Advisory List of Threatened Vertebrate Fauna in Victoria - 2007. East Melbourne, Victoria: Department of Sustainability and Environment. p. 15. ISBN 978-1-74208-039-0.