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Ixobrychus minutus 3 (Marek Szczepanek).jpg
Little bittern (Ixobrychus minutus)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Pelecaniformes
Family: Ardeidae
Subfamily: Botaurinae
Genus: Ixobrychus
Billberg, 1828

See text.

Ixobrychus is a genus of bitterns, a group of wading bird in the heron family Ardeidae. Ixobrychus is from Ancient Greek ixias, a reed-like plant and brukhomai, to bellow.[1]

It has a single representative species in each of North America, South America, Eurasia, and Australasia. The tropical species are largely resident, but the two northern species are partially migratory, with many birds moving south to warmer areas in winter.

The Ixobrychus bitterns are all small species, with their four larger relatives being in the genus Botaurus. They breed in large reedbeds, and can often be difficult to observe except for occasional flight views due to their secretive behaviour. Like other bitterns, they eat fish, frogs, and similar aquatic life.



  1. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 208. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.