Fun Yellow Bittern Facts For Kids

Christian Mba
Oct 20, 2022 By Christian Mba
Originally Published on Aug 06, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Yellow bittern facts, they are the smallest of all the bitterns

Yellow bittern - The bird that loves to play hide and seek! Yes, where you seek, and it hides, divulging its location by making occasional sounds. And when you think you found about its whereabouts, the bird disappears and disappoints you. It's a beautiful brown bird with yellow plumage with pink shades and darker flight feathers.

The smallest of all the bitterns, the yellow bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis), has Old World origins. They sort of skulk in the marshy reed beds in their habitat range, and the northern birds tend to migrate south while the southern population is more or less stagnant.

Though the bird is found in Asia in abundance, much is yet to be documented about their habitat range.

Unlike herons and egrets that also belong to the same family as yellow bitterns, these birds can be distinguished by their neck and long bill in their behavioral and growth patterns. Research is underway to understand this bittern's lifestyle and range, which is also a friend to farmers in their rice fields.

Find out more about other birds right here with our Pacific loon facts and carrion crow facts.

Yellow Bittern Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a yellow bittern?

A yellow bittern is a marsh bird. This shy bird doesn't like to be seen and generally hides in the surroundings with its earthy colors.

What class of animal does a yellow bittern belong to?

Yellow bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis) species belong to the Aves class. The bird belongs to the Ardeidae family and has a comparatively shorter neck than other family members.

How many yellow bitterns are there in the world?

The total population of the yellow bittern species is estimated between 100,000 to 1,000,000 in the world. The population of these birds is considered stable in their habitat & breeding range.

Where does a yellow bittern live?

The Yellow bittern species are found throughout the Asian region. They are found in southeastern Asia countries, including India, Indonesia, China, Japan, the Philippines, and Thailand. In addition, they can be seen in the islands of the western Pacific islands.

What is a yellow bittern's habitat?

The breeding habitats of yellow bittern species are reed beds. They are found in the dense water edge vegetation and woody plants, and rice fields. The birds prefer a variety of freshwater wetlands, marshes and swamps, and sluggish rivers near forest edges.

Who do yellow bitterns live with?

Yellow bitterns are solitary birds and have a skulking lifestyle. The birds are often difficult to be found at first glance. During the breeding season, the birds come together in pairs. It is sometimes seen with the Schrenck's bittern belonging to the same genus in China, Indonesia, and the Phillippines.

How long does a yellow bittern live?

The information on the exact lifespan of the yellow bittern is not available. In general, bitterns live for more than six years in the wild. The American bittern found in Central America has a lifespan of eight years and four months on record.

How do they reproduce?

The yellow bittern species reproduce by sexual reproduction. The species exhibit sexual dimorphism, and males are brighter than females. During the courtship, the male does a neck stretching display and flies around the female, caressing it with its head and bill.

Once paired, the breed is monogamous and stays together. They build their large nest over water bodies above 60 ft (18.3 m) or near the lower vegetation or on the rock ledges.

The nests are 10-15 in (25.4-38.1 cm) in length in diameter. A female may lay two to six in a clutch, and the pair incubates for about a month. The young birds would take flight after a month of hatching.

What is their conservation status?

The yellow bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis) species are found in abundance in their habitat range. According to the IUCN Red List, the yellow bittern's conservation status is of Least Concern.

Yellow Bittern Fun Facts

What do yellow bitterns look like?

The yellow bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis) are beautiful birds that are experts in hiding in their habitat.

The yellow bittern species gets its name because of its yellow-green lores and irises. The head (crest and crown) is gray-brown, and the long thin bill is the paler underside and darker on the top.

The short neck is buff with pink blush on the sides. The rufous-brown back also has dark pink to maroon blush. The wings have patterns of paler inner patches and darker flight feathers.

The legs of the bird are yellow-green. The bill is said to blush into red color during courtship in the breeding season.

How cute are they?

It is a shy bird with a short slender neck and longish bill. And it is interesting to observe how these birds camouflage very well into their surrounding habitats and that their presence can be known only through the sounds they make.

How do they communicate?

The booming call of male yellow bitterns is its characteristic quality and can be heard from long distances. However, they have specific call variations that change with the circumstances when they are around their young ones feeding and protecting them, and so on. During the breeding season, the wing display also includes clapping their bills.

How big is a yellow bittern?

An adult yellow bittern grows to about 15 in (38.1 cm) in length. Yellow bitterns are smaller and have shorter necks than herons and egrets, all of which belong to the same family.

How fast can a yellow bittern move?

The information on the speed of their flight is not available. However, they are often seen flying quickly over small distances. The northern yellow bittern is migratory and travels quite some distances in the breeding season.

How much does a yellow bittern weigh?

An adult yellow bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis) weighs between 3.24 to 3.66 oz (92-103.7 gm).

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and female species do not have any specific name depending on their gender.

What would you call a baby yellow bittern?

A baby yellow bittern has no particular name and is just called a juvenile or a chick.

What do they eat?

The yellow bittern savors fish, insects, and a variety of aquatic invertebrates. Molluscs, crustaceans, frogs are also enjoyed by these birds. It has a lot of patience to wait for its prey while standing still, and once the prey is near, it thrusts its prey into its bill.

Are they poisonous?

No, they are not poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

There is no information available on anyone taking this bird as a pet. Few species have anyway found their way into few zoos.

Did you know...

'An Bonnán Buí' is a classic Irish poem. The name of the poem literally means 'the yellow bittern'.

This poem was written by the poet Cathal Buí Mac Giolla Gunna, in which the poet has written about a bittern that died of thirst. The poem is said to be in the form of a lament about his own drinking habits.

The  English translations of the poem by many poets, including Thomas Kinsella, Thomas MacDonagh, James Stephens, and Seamus Heaney, are popular.

Is a bittern a heron?

No, a bittern is not a heron. However, the birds belong to the same family of Ardeidae. Herons have longer legs and necks when compared to bitterns. Also, bitterns do not venture into deeper waters like the Herons and prey in thick vegetation and reedbeds. Both have their dagger-like bills.

Why are some bitterns endangered?

The least bittern has become vulnerable due to a decrease in the wetlands and tidal marshes, their habitat along the Delaware River.

The American bittern is endangered species due to the decline of marshlands, by more than 50%, in the Pennsylvania region, over the past years.

The Australasian bittern is again facing a threat because of its habitat loss in the shallow floodplains and wetlands.

Great bitterns were found in abundance in Ireland until the mid 19th century, but are now extinct, thanks to human persecution and habitat destruction.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds including frigatebird facts and secretary bird facts!

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable yellow bittern coloring pages.

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Christian Mba

Bachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba picture

Christian MbaBachelor of Science specializing in Computer Science

Christian Mba is an experienced blogger and content writer with over a decade of experience. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Nigeria and has a keen interest in Python programming. Along with his writing and blogging expertise, he is also an SEO specialist with more than six years of experience. Chris, as he is commonly known, has a passion for music and enjoys playing the piano.

Read full bio >