Wild life and nature of Samos, Ikaria & Fournoi

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Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus)


The Little Bittern is a small heron like bird measuring around 35 cm long. It has a dark back and cap, and a buff white neck and wing patches. The male has a green black crown with elongated feathers forming a modest crest. The bill is yellow or yellow green with dark brown on the upper edge. The back and tail is green black. The female is smaller and a duller colour.


Most typically it lives in freshwater wetlands with thick herbaceous vegetation and trees or bushes interspersed nearby.


It presents a very varied diet, including fish, frogs, spiders, small reptiles and birds. It feeds around dawn and dusk but can feed during day.

Protection status

This species is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

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