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30â€“40 cm (11Â¾-15Â¾ in); short neck and longish bill
Female: streaked brown crown, neck and breast
Juvenile: similar to the female but heavily streaked brown below, and mottled with buff above.
Breeds throughout the Indian Subcontinent and on Sri Lanka and north-east to northern China, Korea, Sakhalin and Japan and south through Indochina, Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia to New Guinea. Also breeds in the Seychelles.
Resident in much of range but a summer visitor present April-October in northern China and Japan.
Wintering range mainly within breeding range of southern birds but becomes more widespread in Indonesia.
Marshy areas with dense vegetation, often reed beds and paddyfields. sometimes mangroves.
They nest on platforms of reeds in shrubs. The clutch consists of 4-6 eggs.
The diet includes insects, fish and amphibians.
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