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Little Bittern

Little Bittern
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2013-05-09
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D90, Sigma 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/640 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2013-05-15 8:13
Viewed: 2776
Points: 52
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Just be back from a 15 days holiday in Greece on the beautiful island of Lesvos.
When I stood on a sandbank in a river suddenly a female Littern Bittern landed a few metres in front of me. The next minutes only my forefinger moved to make a lot of photos of this unique scene.

A bird which is disappeared in my neighbourhood for 40 years. In the early sixties were the last breeding cases.

The Little Bittern (Ixobrychus minutus) is a wading bird in the heron family Ardeidae, native to the Old World, breeding in Africa, central and southern Europe, western and southern Asia, and Madagascar. Birds from temperate regions in Europe and western Asia are migratory, wintering in Africa and further south in Asia, while those nesting in the tropics are sedentary. It is rare north of its breeding range.

It is a very small bittern; at 27–36 cm in length, 40–58 cm wingspan and 60-150 g weight. The smallest specimens are perhaps the smallest herons on earth. It has a short neck, longish bill and buff underparts. The male's back and crown are black, and the wings are black with a large white patch on each wing. The female has a browner back and a buff-brown wing patch.

There are three subspecies:
• Ixobrychus minutus minutus (Linnaeus, 1766). Europe, Asia, northern Africa; winters in sub-saharan Africa and southern Asia.
• Ixobrychus minutus payesii (Hartlaub, 1858). Sub-saharan Africa, resident.
• Ixobrychus minutus podiceps (Bonaparte, 1855). Madagascar, resident.
The Australian Little Bittern (Ixobrychus dubius) and the extinct New Zealand Little Bittern (Ixobrychus novaezelandiae) were formerly considered subspecies of the Little Bittern.

The Little Bittern is one of the species to which the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) applies.

The Little Bittern's breeding habitat is reedbeds. It nests on platforms of reeds in shrubs, and 4-8 eggs are laid. It can be difficult to see, given its skulking lifestyle and reedbed habitat.
These bitterns feed on fish, insects and amphibians.

Source: Wikipedia

Hotelcalifornia, ramthakur, buscape, CeltickRanger, nagraj, anel, jcoowanitwong, Pitoncle has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To yiannis: Skala KalloniPeterZ 1 05-16 02:15
To euroblinkie: ReactiePeterZ 1 05-15 10:24
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2013-05-15 8:30]

Hallo Peter,
Good timing ..
The composition and the colours are excellent, the sharpness is impressive.
Best wishes,

Hello Mr.Peter,
Beautiful picture of this anxious specie.Nice natural colour and details on body.
Thanks for sharing,
Kind regards,

  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2013-05-15 8:39]

Hi Peter
Wonderful Little Bittern captured on Greece!!!
Excellent details and colors!
Your Sigma work very well!

Welcome back from your holiday to Greece, Peter!
What a prize shot you have brought back from your trip of a bird that you suggest is getting scarcer!
The posture of this elegant bird wins my heart.
Thanks for sharing this gem of a picture.

  • Great 
  • hsn6a Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 160 W: 0 N: 435] (8652)
  • [2013-05-15 8:49]

Hello Peter,
excellent capture,great details İ.minutus,regards..

Good click with wonderful colors


  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2013-05-15 9:29]

Hi Peter,welcome back! A great pic to celebrate your greek holidays,a lucky meeting and a spectacular capture of this bittern,magnificent pose and great details and colors,very very nice! Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano

Hallo Peter
Lekker gehad? dat zal best eruit is altijd lekker en vooral als je naar de natuur gaat
Je hebt hier een super mooi foto meegenomen
prachtige kleuren goed van scherpte en leuke compositie
Bedankt ,er zullen wel meer mooie foto's komen
gr lou

Hello Peter,
great capture of this lovely wading bird with good sharpness and nice details. I especially like thge beautifully natural colours and the wonderful pose.
Best wishes,

Ciao Peter, great macro of lovely bird in nice pose, splendid sharpness, wonderful colors and fine details, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

Ciao Peter. Stunning details and perfect light for the guy in great pose. Exciting colours too.


  • Great 
  • Tina Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 60 W: 0 N: 132] (1427)
  • [2013-05-15 13:09]

Hello Peter,
Great POV and timing ! Beautiful details and clarity ! TFS Tina


Hello Peter

Excellent photo of the Little Bittern in
his typical pose, with fine POV and DOF,
excellent focus, sharpness, details, TFS


  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2013-05-15 21:59]

It almost invisible because of its pose and patterns..beautiful species and find image. good you got this one after a long gap. tfs.

Hello Peter! Welcome back!
Impressive photo! Beautiful pose, very good composition and impressive sharpness. The lighting and the colours are fantastic!

Hello Peter
Superb photo of the Little Bittern.
Excellent light and detail, nice setting, fantastic pose.
I was also at Skala Kalloni about two weeks ago!
regards yiannis

Excellent shot, Peter.
I like a pose of this guy :)

  • Great 
  • Cobo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 236 W: 1 N: 535] (5799)
  • [2013-05-16 11:29]

It is difficult to see this great picture if you do not open the little pic. I am glad that I clik on this picture because the quality and the position of the bird are great. Congratulation Peter! Un saludo.

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2013-05-16 14:07]

Hi Peter,
Fantastic portrait. Majestic pose of this bird.
Gorgeous sharpness details and colours.
Regards Jiri.

Hi Peter
Wonderful capture. Excellent details (super sharp) and colors.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2013-05-17 1:47]

Hello Peter,
Nice to see you back. A very vivid and natural shot of this Little Bittern between grasses. The bird seemed to know that you are a bird-photographer:-)
Lovely picture,indeeed.
Kind regards

Hello Peter,
Superb picture of this Little Bittern. nice expression you caught.
perfect sharpness and colour.
good natural ambiance.
best wishes,

Hello Peter, Beautiful little bittern. You did great in showing fine details. Very well done. JC

Zij is mooi Peter net zoals je foto van der
Perfect scherp en goed van kleur
Prima compositie

TFS Thijs

Bonjour Peter,
Très belle attitude du sujet saisie à l'instant décisif dans une belle lumière et sous une excellente profondeur de champ.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

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