Bird Families

Small bitterns


Ardeidae: Herons

2576. Wood Heron (Zonerodius heliosylus)

2577. White-crested Tiger Heron (Tigriornis leucolopha)

2578. Marbled Tiger Heron (Tigrisoma lineatum)

2579. Banded Tiger Heron (Tigrisoma fasciatum)

2580. Long-throated Tiger Heron (Tigrisoma mexicanum)

2581. Shuttle (Cochlearius cochlearius)

2582. Zebra Heron (Zebrilus undulatus)

2583. Great Bittern (Botaurus stellaris)

2584. Australian Bittern (Botaurus poiciloptilus)

2585. American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus)

2586. South American Bittern (Botaurus pinnatus)

2587. Indian Spinning Top (Ixobrychus exilis)

2588. Ixobrychus involucris

2589. Mangrove Top (Ixobrychus flavicollis)

2590. Amur Top (Ixobrychus eurhythmus)

2591. Buffy Top (Ixobrychus cinnamomeus)

2592. Gray-backed spinning top (Ixobrychus sturmii)

2593. Spinning Top (Ixobrychus minutus)

2594. Chinese spinning top (Ixobrychus sinensis)

2595. Black-backed Bittern (Ixobrychus dubius)

2596. New Zealand Top (Ixobrychus novaezelandiae)

2597. Hainan Night Heron (Gorsachius magnificus)

2598. Japanese Night Heron (Gorsachius goisagi)

2599. Tiger Bittern (Gorsachius melanolophus)

2600. White-sided Night Heron (Gorsachius leuconotus)

2601. Yellow-headed Night Heron (Nyctanassa violacea)

2602. Bermuda Night Heron (Nyctanassa carcinocatactes)

2603. Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax)

2604. Caledonian Night Heron (Nycticorax caledonicus)

2605. Ascension Night-Heron (Nycticorax olsoni)

2606. Dubois' Heron (Nycticorax duboisi)

2607. Mauritanian Night Heron (Nycticorax mauritianus)

2608. Large-headed Night Heron (Nycticorax megacephalus)

2609. South American Night Heron (Pilherodius pileatus)

2610. Whistling Heron (Syrigma sibilatrix)

2611. Egretta picata

2612. Barnacle Heron (Egretta novaehollandiae)

2613. Egretta tricolor

2614. Blue-footed Heron (Egretta rufescens)

2615. Black Heron (Egretta ardesiaca)

2616. Red-throated Heron (Egretta vinaceigula)

2617. Eastern Reef Heron (Egretta sacra)

2618. Yellow-billed Heron (Egretta eulophotes)

2619. Reef Heron (Egretta dimorpha)

2620. Coastal Heron (Egretta gularis)

2621. Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

2622. Egretta thula

2623. Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea)

2624. Agamia agami

2625. American Green Heron (Butorides virescens)

2626. Galapagos Green Heron (Butorides sundevalli)

2627. Green Heron (Butorides striata)

2628. Yellow Heron (Ardeola ralloides)

2629. Indian Yellow Heron (Ardeola grayii)

2630. White-winged Heron (Ardeola bacchus)

2631. Yellow Heron (Ardeola speciosa)

2632. Madagascar Yellow Heron (Ardeola idae)

2633. Red-bellied Green Heron (Ardeola rufiventris)

2634. Western Egyptian Heron (Bubulcus ibis)

2635. Medium Egret (Mesophoyx intermedia)

2636. Great Egret (Casmerodius albus)

2637. American Egret (Casmerodius egretta)

2638. Gray Heron (Ardea cinerea)

2639. Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias)

2640. South American Heron (Ardea cocoi)

2641. White-necked Heron (Ardea pacifica)

2642. Black-necked Heron (Ardea melanocephala)

2643. Madagascar Heron (Ardea humbloti)

2644. White-bellied Heron (Ardea insignis)

2645. Gray Heron (Ardea sumatrana)


Little bitterns are the smallest representatives of the order of storks, their body length is only 35-38 cm. The plumage is ocher and red. This color perfectly disguises birds in the coastal thickets of reeds and cattails, especially dry ones, and in tall grass. They keep secret, in case of danger they hide and take a defensive posture, stretching vertically and standing motionless.


Distributed in temperate and tropical zones of all continents. They settle in separate pairs in thickets along the banks of reservoirs, unlike most other herons, they do not form colonies. There are three species in Russia: small bittern (top), Amur top and Chinese top.


Nests are built in reed thickets or in tall grass, sometimes on bushes and trees. Clutch contains 3-9 eggs. Both parents incubate for about 20 days.

In the genus of small, drink 10 species, taking into account one extinct:

  • Ixobrychus cinnamomeus - Ochre spinning top, East and Southeast Asia,
  • Ixobrychus dubius (English) - east and northwest of Australia,
  • Ixobrychus eurhythmus - Amur spinning top, East and Southeast Asia,
  • Ixobrychus exilis - American Little Bittern, North and South America from eastern Canada to southeastern Brazil and northern Argentina,
  • Ixobrychus flavicollis - Black Top, South, Southeast and partly East Asia, Australia, New Guinea and part of Melanesia,
  • Ixobrychus involucris - Spiny top, South America (except Patagonia),
  • Ixobrychus minutus - Little bittern, or spinning top, Europe (except for the north), Central Asia, Middle East, Western India, Sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar,
  • Ixobrychus sinensis - Chinese spinning top, East, South and Southeast Asia,
  • Ixobrychus sturmii - Gray-backed spinning top, Sub-Saharan Africa,
  • † Ixobrychus novaezelandiae, New Zealand (South Island).