Story: Birdwatching

Australasian bittern

Australasian bittern

Well camouflaged, secretive birds, Australasian bitterns are hard to see. They nest in tall rushes or reeds, and feed in shallow water along edges with plenty of cover. If disturbed, they stand stock still, often stretching up and pointing their bill upwards – merging with the reeds. They may also ‘freeze’ while stalking small fish, eels and frogs. In courtship males give low foghorn-like booms which are hard to locate.

Using this item

Department of Conservation
Reference: 10028776
Photograph by M. F. Soper

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How to cite this page:

Gordon Ell, 'Birdwatching - Alpine, wetland, coastal and marine birds', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/11942/australasian-bittern (accessed 27 May 2019)

Story by Gordon Ell, published 24 Sep 2007, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015