Breeding display of the Yellow Bittern

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS was at the wetland-paddy field area in south Perak, Malaysia on 11th April 2012 when he encountered an adult male Yellow Bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis) in full breeding plumage (above). There were two female bitterns in attendance (left, showing one of the two females).

“He positioned himself at the top of the reeds (two females about 3-5 meters away) and I then observed a number of crest-raising displays,” wrote Amar (below). “Note the base of the bill is a little red (recognised in courting). Not only was the crest raised and lowered repeatedly, the neck feathers were also raised/bristled and the neck/throat was puffed out. After a few episodes it took off after a female in flight.”

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