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Information for Black bittern - Ixobrychus flavicollis

Eukaryota >Animalia > Chordata > Aves > Pelecaniformes > Ardeidae > Ixobrychus > Ixobrychus flavicollis

Black bittern
Ixobrychus flavicollis

Up to 58cm in length, this is a large bittern, found in wetland areas.


Black Bittern - Ixobrychus flavicollis on the Daintree River - Photo by Alex Pawlow


It is relatively common along the Daintree River, however is often difficult to spot.

The upperparts of the black bittern are all black, and the underside is streaked white and brown. They have yellow sides to the neck. Juveniles are more brown than black above.

It nests in shrubs and trees over the water where it makes a platform of reeds.

They have a distinctive "booming" call, that can mainly be heard during breeding season.

Although they mainly feed at night, they can also be seen hunting during the day, where they stalk small fish, frogs, crustaceans and invertebrates in shallow water. They will also dive from a branch to catch fish, often stabbing it with their sharp bill.