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Bittern: Little

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
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Wild about cats
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Bittern: Little

Unread post by Wild about cats » Tue Aug 14, 2007 1:21 pm

Little Bittern

Uncommon resident and visitor. Th male has unmistakable bold markings, the female has a buffy neck and black cap. Solitary or scattered in reed beds. Dirunal. Nomadic and difficult to flush.
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Unread post by Bush Baptist » Wed Sep 05, 2007 1:04 pm

Saw my first one in my home province at Paarl 2 weeks ago. Have seen them elsewhere before.
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Re: Bittern: Little

Unread post by Wild about cats » Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:03 pm

Saw my first Little Bittern on the Shongololo Loop near Mopani in December. It was the most increadible sighting, because just underneath him were a pair of Greater-painted Snipes :dance:

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Lizet Grobbelaar
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Re: Bittern: Little

Unread post by Lizet Grobbelaar » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:30 pm

Wac,

Nice sighting, it is a Dwarf Bittern, notice the overall dark grey upper parts..

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Re: Bittern: Little

Unread post by DotDan » Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:10 am

Blerry Dwarf Bitterns don't exist Lizet.. That is a mixed breed of some kind :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:

WAC awesome sighting of the Dwarf Bittern... very uncommon fellow!

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Re: Bittern: Little

Unread post by Lizet Grobbelaar » Tue Aug 03, 2010 9:32 am

Nylsvley is a good place Dotdan.... :P

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Re: Bittern: Little

Unread post by Jumbo » Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:52 am

Saw this Little Bittern this past weekend at Marievale.

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Re: Bittern: Little

Unread post by Touareg » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:56 pm

I normally post all my weekend pics under the thread "Weekend Through the lens" but where there are active topics for specific birds I will also contribute to that thread if that's ok and not seen as duplication.

Here is another recent image of a Little Bittern from last weekend. I am particularly proud of this one as these birds are very shy and don't generally show themselves.

From Wikipedia:
The Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) is a wading bird in the heron family Ardeidae, native to the Old World, breeding in Africa, central and southern Europe, western and southern Asia, and Madagascar. 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.

Description
It is a very small bittern; at 27–36 cm in length, 40–58 cm wingspan and 60-150 g weight. The smallest specimens are perhaps 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.

TaxonomyThere are three subspecies:

Ixobrychus minutus minutus (Linnaeus, 1766). Europe, Asia, northern Africa; winters in sub-saharan Africa and southern Asia.
Ixobrychus minutus payesii (Hartlaub, 1858). Sub-saharan Africa, resident.
Ixobrychus minutus podiceps (Bonaparte, 1855). Madagascar, resident.
The Australian Little Bittern (Ixobrychus dubius) and the extinct New Zealand Little Bittern (Ixobrychus novaezelandiae) were formerly considered subspecies of the Little Bittern.

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

Behaviour
The Little Bittern's breeding habitat is reedbeds. It nests on platforms of reeds in shrubs, and 4-8 eggs are laid. It can be difficult to see, given its skulking lifestyle and reedbed habitat.

These bitterns feed on fish, insects and amphibians.

Image
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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Bittern: Little

Unread post by Johan van Rensburg » Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:16 pm

Touareg wrote:I normally post all my weekend pics under the thread "Weekend Through the lens" but where there are active topics for specific birds I will also contribute to that thread if that's ok and not seen as duplication.


Well I guess strictly speaking this is duplication, but understandable considering the current situation. With future posts you would be able to link your "Weekend Through the lens" post elegantly to the species account in the specific spesies thread - for the benefit of those souls who'd like to read more about the bird specie. The mods may have other ideas / suggestions... For now let's just allow this scenario to play out unhindered and a very cool solution will probably result. :wink:

Good stuff, Touareg! :thumbs_up:
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granjan
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Re: Bittern: Little

Unread post by granjan » Thu Feb 24, 2011 6:15 pm

I took this at Lake Panic last month.
It was raining quite hard and it perched very briefly so I only managed a couple of quick snaps.

Image
male little bittern by jansp, on Flickr

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Re: Bittern: Little

Unread post by MattAxel » Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:37 pm

Took these pictures of a juvenile Little Bittern at Nylsvley. I find they pretty common in the Vogelfontein area of Nylsvley.

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Image

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Re: Bittern: Little

Unread post by DuQues » Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:06 am

Took this at Orpen, the first I like best for the Dive! Dive! Dive! factor. (There were tons of little toads crossing the road, so Food! was there.)

Image

Before that:

Image
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Re: Bittern: Little

Unread post by Dabchick » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:03 am

DQ - I think your diving bittern is a Dwarf bittern - note the slaty grey back and wings and the blue skin around the eyes.

I've seen a Little Bittern a few months ago in Pretoria of all places (have never seen one out in the "bush"). It was at the low water bridge over the Apies River, a few km's after the river comes through Marabastad, near a busy intersection between DF Malan Drive and Van der Hoff Weg as well as a metro train station. So it's quite a poluted (with plastic and cans and the like) bit of river. The next day the LB wasn't there anymore. I suppose the food there was not up to scratch.

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Re: Bittern: Little

Unread post by DotDan » Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:30 am

Yip, Dwarf Bittern that!

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Re: Bittern: Little

Unread post by francoisd » Wed Mar 09, 2011 1:25 pm

There is currently a nesting pair of Little Bitterns at Lake Panic.

As you come into the hide go to the far right on the benches that faces towards the right bank of the "lake". The first tall stand of reed grass is where they are. Last week (1-4 March 2011) they started appearing at 06:00 allowing good opportunity for photographs although my camera equipment did not do it justice.

Also an easy tick for your Kruger List
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