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.
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Department of Conservation
Photograph by M. F. Soper
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