Dwarf Bittern | Ixobrychus sturmii
The Dwarf Bittern is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Ardeidae bird family group which includes birds such as Egrets, Herons, Bitterns.
The description for the Dwarf Bittern (Latin name Ixobrychus sturmii) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Ixobrychus sturmii can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 79 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 601. You will find a picture of the Dwarf Bittern on page 577.
NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.
There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Dwarf Bittern between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition
The Dwarf Bittern has a height of 25 cms and weighs around 140 gms. The head is coloured grey, black while the bill is coloured grey. The Ixobrychus sturmii has a grey coloured throat, yellow legs and a grey, black coloured back. The eyes are yellow.
The male Ixobrychus sturmii has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.
Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.
Head is grey, black
Eyes are yellow
Bill is grey
Legs are yellow
Throat is grey
Back is grey, black
Feeding Habits ...
This bird forages for food on the ground
This bird has a specially adapted bill which helps it hunt for fish, crabs, shrimp and other aquatic animals in the water.
This bird is a noctunal feeder and is able to forage in the dark because of the enhanced night vision. It also forages at this time because that?s when the prey comes out in the open.
This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .
Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...
The Dwarf Bittern is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 5 eggs and they are coloured blue.
The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.
The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.
The Dwarf Bittern is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.
Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...
The Dwarf Bittern is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.
It is also seen in flocks
The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."
copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105
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