Little Bittern

The Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus), is a wading bird in the heron family Ardeidae. It is native to the Old World, breeding in Africa, central and southern Europe, western and southern Asia, and Australasia. Birds from temperate regions in Europe and western Asia are migratory, wintering in Africa and further south in Asia, while those nesting in the tropics are sedentary. It is rare north of its breeding range.

It is very small at 10.5 to 14.25 inches in length with a 15.75 to 22.75 inch wingspan and weighing 2 to 5.5 ounces. It is one of the smallest herons in the world, equaled only by other species of Ixobrychus. 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.

Photo By Marek Szczepanek