Tuesday, February 7, 2012

World Bird Wednesday: Little Bittern

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Little Bitterns (Ixobrychus minutus) are native to much of Europe, Africa and Asia. they are small birds, only 25-35cm long and weighing only 60-150 gramm (!).

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Bitterns are herons and the Little Bittern may be the smallest heron species of all. They feed on all kinds of invertebrates, small reptiles, amphibians, fish and may also take other birds' eggs. Usually, the birds are found hidden among the reeds growing along a river or lake. Watch a Little Bittern catch a fish.

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The nest is build among the reeds as well and may be used for several years. A clutch is between 2 and 9 eggs and both parents incubate and care for the chicks. The chicks grow very fast and will have left the nest after a week, becoming fully independent after only 27 says.

More birds at World Bird Wednesday

Photos were taken at Burgers Zoo, Arnhem

Sources and further reading:
Internet Bird Collection
Arkive.org
Wikipedia

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