Australasian Bittern in Central West NSW
The Australasian Bittern is widespread but uncommon in freshwater wetland habitats in south-eastern Australia with significant reed beds.
It is highly secretive and notoriously difficult to observe, which makes identifying the true extent and distribution of the species problematic.
When it notices it’s being watched, it will either fly away from the observer or drop down low to stay concealed, sometimes holding its bill directly skyward to blend in with the surrounding vegetation.
It usually forages in shallow water (up to 30cm deep) in dense wetland vegetation made up of sedges, rushes, cumbungi and/or reeds.
The Australasian Bittern is also known as the ‘Bunyip Bird’, Brown Bittern or Bull Bird, and can often be confused with juvenile Nankeen Night Herons and other bittern species.
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