Unsorted Wild Birds

Australasian Bittern aka Brown Bittern

Australasian Bitterns aka Brown Bittern

The Australasian Bitterns, Botaurus poiciloptilus, also known as the Brown Bittern, is found in southwestern and south-eastern Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, New Caledonia, and Ouvea. Populations in Australia and New Zealand have declined in the 20th Century.

It is a large bittern, patterned and streaked brown, buff, and black, with a pale throat. It is a cryptic and partly nocturnal species that inhabits densely vegetated wetlands. It feeds on aquatic animals such as frogs, eels, and freshwater crustaceans. It is a solitary nester on the ground in dense wetland vegetation on trampled reeds and other plants. It has a distinctive booming voice and may be heard more often than seen. 

The principal cause of past and ongoing decline is thought to be wetland drainage and degradation. In Australia, it is thought to be particularly sensitive to the destruction of drought refugia.

Bitterns InformationBitterns Species Photo Gallery

Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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