Bittern or Night Heron

To: 'Lyndal Thorburn' <>, "" <>
Subject: Bittern or Night Heron
From: Philip Veerman <>
Date: Mon, 13 Feb 2017 02:19:49 +0000

It is certainly a juvenile nankeen night heron (as a sweeping statement, I suggest most initial reports of Australasian Bitterns are juvenile nankeen night herons). I suspected that from your earlier message but did not respond, as there was no descriptive information to respond to (other than what is likely) except that “hiding near our dam in Greenleigh all day” seems unlikely for an Australasian Bittern. The perched in a tree is a good clue, but it is stripy rather than mottled brown, all over.  Most diagnostic is it has pale spots on the wings, rather than finely patterned in brown. I wonder whether Australasian Bitterns would ever perch in that slim alert upright posture as in that photo.




From: Lyndal Thorburn [
Sent: Monday, 13 February, 2017 11:29 AM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Bittern or Night Heron


Hi all

Some have suggested our find on the weekend may have been a juvenile nankeen night heron - attached is pic for comment

In terms of behaviour (ie why is it up a tree), it spent the day hiding on the strut of our bridge (ie under the bridge) but my husband disturbed it when he first went down to the dam and again when he came back with the camera. He was very impressed with its camouflage as you can't see the bird at all in his first pics on his phone. He said it clattered out of its hiding place when he approached and flew clumsily up to a gum tree where it watch him warily, and went back under the bridge as soon as he left

If you need higher res pics I can send them but not through this chatline

Lyndal Thorburn

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the Canberra Ornithologists Group mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the list contact David McDonald, list manager, phone (02) 6231 8904 or email . If you can not contact David McDonald e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU