Yellow Bittern   Ixobrychus sinensis


  • Ixobrychus : Greek word ixias reed-like plant; brukhomai – bellow.  { found bellow reeds}
  • Sinensis: From China

 Vernacular Names: Hindi: Jun bagla, Ben: Kat bak, Guj: Pili pan bagli, Mar: Pivla tapas, Ta: Manal naarai, Te: Pasupu wakha, Mal: Manja kokku, Sinh: Meti kokka

Distribution in India: Widespread resident in India.

Description:  Size of 30–40 cm; wt. of 81–104 g; wingspan of 45–53 cm. The male has dull black to blue-grey crown and crest, brown forehead, sandy-brown throat that is streaked brown, buff neck-sides, rufous to sandy-brown back, often with pinkish to maroon wash, pale wing-coverts contrasting with blackish flight feathers, grey underwing with pale coverts, sandy-brown underparts and black tail. It has a long, thin, ivory-coloured bill, with darker maxilla and red base in courtship, yellow eyes, yellow-green lores and legs. The female has indistinctly streaked crown, rufous hindneck and upper back, dark red-brown and buff-streaked underparts, with black on breast-sides, chestnut-buff streaking on throat and darker wing patches than male. It is found in freshwater marshes; also reedbeds and other dense aquatic vegetation fringing lakes, in riverside shrubs, inland swamps, rice paddies and flooded fields; and in mangroves. It is found from lowlands into hills, occurring up to 900 – 1500 m.

Food habits: It eats aquatic insects and their larvae, small fish, crustaceans , frogs, molluscs, crickets and lizards. It catches flies in flight (Standing Flycatching). It is solitary and secretive, typically forages by Standing and Walking Slowly, but also Gleaning, Running and Hopping. It is mainly crepuscular and nocturnal, but sometimes active on overcast days..

Breeding habits: They breed in May–Aug in Egypt, Japan and China; Jun–Sept in India, related to monsoons; May–Nov in SW Oman; Jul–Oct in Malay Peninsula , Feb–May in Philippines; May on Sumbawa; Sept and Jan in Seychelles; Sept–Apr in Solomon Is; and in Feb on Saipan . They are solitary, but can form small groups at favorable sites. The nests is above water or mud, in bushes or herbaceous plants within reeds, grass, cattails, bulrushes, wild sugarcane or bamboo, or in mangroves, occasionally taller trees, often near rice paddies and usually close to open water. The nest is slight platform of grass and leaves, usually with canopy of foliage and constructed by female. They lay a clutch of 4–6 eggs. The eggs are laid at one-day intervals. The incubation period is 17–20 days, by both sexes, commencing with first egg. The chicks start to clamber about nest at 15 days and abandon it completely at 20 days.