Story: Wetland birds

Australasian bittern

Australasian bittern

Australasian bitterns or matuku are mottled brown with a cream throat, long legs and neck. They are related to herons, but are more thickset. Extremely shy, they hide among raupō and reeds, often standing stretched upwards to merge with the reedy background. They have eyes that can look down even when holding their head high – ready to spot fish, frogs or eels.

Using this item

Department of Conservation
Reference: 10030562
Photograph by Dick Veitch

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How to cite this page:

Christina Troup, 'Wetland birds - Bitterns and spoonbills', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 22 April 2024)

Story by Christina Troup, published 24 Sep 2007, reviewed & revised 17 Feb 2015