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5

Black Bittern

(Ixobrychus flavicollis)
Alternate name(s): "Yellow-necked Bittern", "Yellow-necked Mangrove Bittern"
Aboriginal name(s): Race "australis": "wandjima" (WA); "woggal"

Size: 55-65 cm
Weight: 275-430 g

Similar
species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Black Bittern at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "australis"

ADULT

MALE

Frontal view of a male Black Bittern (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Kinkuna section, Burrum Coast NP, near Bundaberg, QLD, October 2015]

Near-frontal view of a male Black Bittern (photo courtesy of J. Boettcher, FNQ Nature Tours)
[Daintree River, QLD, December 2019]

Lateral view of a male Black Bittern (photo courtesy of M. Mearns)
[Kinkuna section, Burrum Coast NP, near Bundaberg, QLD, October 2015]

Lateral view of a Black Bittern taking off from the bank of a creek when spotting the photographer; the yellow side of the neck and the very dark crown suggest that this is a male bird (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Parry Creek Road Crossing, Wyndham, WA, January 2016]

FEMALE

Near-dorsal view of a female Black Bittern (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Daintree River, QLD, December 2018]

Near-dorsal view of a female Black Bittern (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Daintree River, QLD, December 2018]

Near-dorsal view of a female Black Bittern (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Daintree River, QLD, December 2018]

Near-dorsal view of a female Black Bittern (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Daintree River, QLD, December 2018]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Sep - Dec Eggs: 3 - 5 Incubation period: ca. 23 days Fledging age: ca. 35 days

The breeding season of the Black Bittern depends on geographical latitude. The period listed in the table above refers to the East of Australia. In the tropical North the breeding season is usually from December to March.

Nest

"bungobittah", "lar", "malunna", "jindi" [bundjalung] = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Basket Material: Sticks Height above ground: <15 m

Black Bitterns tend to nest above, or close to, water.

Black Bittern chicks in their nest in cryptic posture (photo courtesy of J. Boettcher, FNQ Nature Tours)
[Daintree River, QLD, February 2023]

Black Bittern chicks in their nest (photo courtesy of J. Boettcher, FNQ Nature Tours)
[Daintree River, QLD, March 2020]

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "mirk", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena", "pum-pum" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 44 x 35 mm Colour: Creamy Shape: Tapered oval

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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