Botaurus stellaris   (Linnaeus,  1758) (Bird)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Aves

Image copyrights: Omar Brännström

Size: 70-80 cm.

Voice: Silent during winter, aurr in flight.

Habits: Found singly, crepuscular, nocturnal and shy, remains hidden in reed beds, feeds alone, feigns freezing.

Adult: Sexes alike. Crown, nape and upper back black, sides of head yellowish-orange, faintly dotted with black, remaining back, rump and tail yellowish-buff, profusely barred and mottled with black. Bill greenish-yellow, lores green to bluish, chin and throat white with a conspicuous buff and black median line that continues down the overhanging yellowish plumes, remaining underparts yellowish-buff with narrow brownish bars on sides of breast, legs and feet greenish-yellow. Juvenile: Upperparts pale chestnut to reddish-brown and underparts reddish-buff, except for whitish chin and throat.

Synonym (s)
Ardea stellaris (Linnaeus, 1758)

Common Name (s)
• Great Bittern (English)
• Bittern (English)
• Nir goug, Baz (Hindi)
• Pardeshi pan baglo, Shiyalu pan bagli (Gujrati)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Estuarine
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Fish and aquatic insects.
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• North West INDIA
• North East INDIA
• Kerala, Kol wetlands (Lat: 10.33) (Long: 75.96) INDIA
• Kerala, Kol wetlands (Lat: 10.66) (Long: 76.18) INDIA
• Delhi, Okhla barrage bird sanctuary INDIA
• Maharashtra, Satara district INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Kumar, A; Sati, JP; Tak, PC and Alfred, JRB (2005) Handbook on Indian wetland birds and their conservation Zoological Survey of India, Dehra Dun 468 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • PBase Available at -
  • Nameer, PO (2005) Wetlands and waterfowl conservation in kerala with special reference to Ramsar sites kerala environment congress 2005 Centre for environment and development 97-112 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Vernacular names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent Buceros, Envis newsletter: Avian Ecology & Inland Wetlands 62pp Available at -
  • Manakadan R and Pittie A (2001) Standardized English names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent BUCEROS Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetland 6(1) 26pp Available at -
  • Kumar A, sati JP and Tak CK (2003) Checklist of Indian Waterbids Buceros Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetlands 8(1) 30pp Available at -
  • Urfi AJ (2003) The birds of Okhla barrage bird sanctuary, Delhi, India Forktail 19 39-50pp Available at -
  • Pawar SM, Ganeshwade RM and Sonawane SR (2010) Avian fauna along three water reservoir from Satara district (Maharashtra), India The Bioscan 5(4) 609-612pp Available at -
  • Ali S and Ripley SD (1968) Handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan Oxford university press 1 1-368pp Available at - NIO

Page last updated on:2012-08-03

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