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Little Bittern

Ixobrychus minutus


It is a very small bittern; measuring 25–36 cm (9.8–14 in) in length, 40–58 cm (16–23 in) across the wings and weighing 59–150 g (2.1–5.3 oz). It is among the smallest herons on earth. It has a short neck, longish bill and buff underparts. The male's back and crown are black, and the wings are black with a large white patch on each wing. The female has a browner back and a buff-brown wing patch.


In reeds near Vlei


The Little Bittern is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

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Jared Hersch
Jared Hersch 10 years ago

Thanks Debbie, It was my first sighting of them and I hope not the last. I had a look at your shots they are really impressive, cant wait to see more.

Debbie Stewart
Debbie Stewart 10 years ago

Hi Jared, I just spotted one of these the other day:
its funny how the reed bed looks almost identical even though its in a completely different part of the world!

Jared Hersch
Spotted by
Jared Hersch

George Local Municipality, Western Cape, South Africa

Spotted on Apr 27, 2013
Submitted on Apr 28, 2013

Related Spottings

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

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Greater Striped Swallow Little Egret Little Rush Warbler Malachite Kingfisher


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