Story: Wetland birds

Bittern nest with chicks

Bittern nest with chicks

A female bittern makes a well-concealed nest by bending long reed leaves at the water’s edge to create a raised platform. She lays two to five olive-brown eggs, which she incubates without help from the male – who patrols the territory, booming to warn others to stay away. Once the chicks hatch, she alone feeds them, leaving them unguarded while she searches for food.

Using this item

Department of Conservation
Reference: 10028777
Photograph by M. F. Soper

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How to cite this page:

Christina Troup, 'Wetland birds - Bitterns and spoonbills', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 2 March 2024)

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