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Least Bittern

Ixobrychus exilis


Least bitterns are a small secretive marsh bird averaging 11 - 14 inches (28-36cm) in length with a wingspan of 16 - 18 inches (41-46cm). The crown, back, and tail are a vivid greenish black, while the neck, sides, and underparts are streaked with brown and white. Characters include chestnut wings with contrasting pale patches and white lines bordering the shoulders. Because of the secretive nature and dense cover used by Least bitterns they are often easier to identify by their low dove-like call. Seldom Seen, especially at close range. This is a juvenile bird and is approx. 6 inches in size.


Found in a normally very wet, wetland, near farm fields. Wetland at present time, is drying up more and more, as we have had a lack of rainfall for quite some time.


Set of 5 fishings photos, taken seconds apart. I have spotted this bird for 4 consecutive evenings. I have spent over a dozen hours watching and studying his habits. The first night I saw him for about 30 minutes, before dark. The last few evenings I have sat on the bank of a normally very wet wetland ( we are in drought here ) and watched it, along with several Sora, some Green Heron, a pair of Sandhill Crane, with a colt, Muskrats, Mallards, Great Blue Heron, Red Tail Hawks, Red Winged Blackbirds, a small wren. and an assortment of other small birds.

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KrantiAzad 10 years ago

nice series great job...hats off to u.........

williefromwi 10 years ago

Thanks Ashish, and Harsuame for your wonderful comments. High quality spottings are what I try to deliver.

harsuame 10 years ago

Fant√°sticas series que grandes disparos felicidades::

Ashish Nimkar
Ashish Nimkar 10 years ago

Anyone can easily find the specie of prey fish also... so clear..!!

Ashish Nimkar
Ashish Nimkar 10 years ago

Great series... learning lesson for me...

williefromwi 10 years ago

Thanks BirdLady6000, Luis, ScottHarte, AdamBT, Laurie Van Ostrand, Anne Marie McCaffrey and Carol Snowy Milne, for your wonderful comments.

birdlady6000 10 years ago

Great spotting and photos!

LuisStevens 10 years ago

Great series

ScottHarte 10 years ago

great series, love the fourth photo

AdamBT 10 years ago

Excellent shots, congratulations!

LaurieVanOstrand 10 years ago

lovely spotting. One I have not seen. Green Herons here in Hugo, MN are hiding on me.

Anne Marie McCaffrey
Anne Marie McCaffrey 10 years ago

Fantastic photos!

CarolSnowMilne 10 years ago

Wonderful information and thanks for sharing your personal sightings along with it. Fantastic again! Congratulations on a wonderful series.

Spotted by

Mequon, Wisconsin, USA

Spotted on Jul 16, 2012
Submitted on Jul 17, 2012

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Yellow Bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis) Yellow Bittern Avetorillo (Little Bittern) Yellow Bittern

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Great Blue Heron Bull Frog Green Heron Least Bittern
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