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Yellow Bittern - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Romy Ocon
Candaba Swamp, Pampanga Province, Philippines
Ixobrychus sinensis


30–40 cm (11¾-15¾ in); short neck and longish bill

  • Dull yellow upperparts
  • Buff underparts
  • Chestnut head and neck
  • Black crown

Female: streaked brown crown, neck and breast

Juvenile: similar to the female but heavily streaked brown below, and mottled with buff above.


Photo © by wondersf2010
Merlimau, Muar, Malaysia, December 2009

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.

Recorded as a vagrant in Australia. Accidental vagrant to Attu Island, Alaska.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Marshy areas with dense vegetation, often reed beds and paddyfields. sometimes mangroves.



Photo © by Romy Ocon
Candaba wetlands, Pampanga province, Philippines, June 2008

They nest on platforms of reeds in shrubs. The clutch consists of 4-6 eggs.


The diet includes insects, fish and amphibians.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. BF Member observations
  3. Wikipedia

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