Australasian bittern

Botaurus poiciloptilus

The Australasian bittern , also known as the brown bittern, is a large bird in the heron family.
Australasian bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus) Tawharanui Reserve, New Zealand. 27 Dec 2016.
 Australasian bittern,Botaurus poiciloptilus,Geotagged,New Zealand,Summer

Appearance

It is a large bittern, patterned and streaked brown, buff and black, with a pale throat. It has a distinctive booming voice and may be heard more often than seen.

Distribution

It is found in south-western and south-eastern Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, New Caledonia and Ouvea. Populations in Australia and New Zealand have declined in the 20th century. It is a cryptic and partly nocturnal species that inhabits densely vegetated wetlands.

Status

The principal cause of past and ongoing decline is thought to be wetland drainage and degradation. In Australia it is thought to be particularly sensitive to the destruction of drought refugia. It is listed as endangered on the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. It is listed as threatened on the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act of 1988. Under this act, an ''Action Statement'' for the recovery and future management of this species has not been prepared. On the 2007 advisory list of threatened vertebrate fauna in Victoria, this species is listed as endangered.

Behavior

It feeds on aquatic animals such as frogs, eels and freshwater crustaceans. It is a solitary nester on the ground in dense wetland vegetation on trampled reeds and other plants.

Habitat

It is found in south-western and south-eastern Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, New Caledonia and Ouvea. Populations in Australia and New Zealand have declined in the 20th century. It is a cryptic and partly nocturnal species that inhabits densely vegetated wetlands.

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Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionChordata
ClassAves
OrderPelecaniformes
FamilyArdeidae
GenusBotaurus
SpeciesB. poiciloptilus
Photographed in
New Zealand