We’re adding new birds each day until we reach our 500th Birdorable species! Today’s Bonanza bird is species #498 overall: the Least Bittern. Least Bitterns are very small herons found in freshwater or brackish wetland-type habitats in the Americas. They are the smallest... Read more »
The Least Bittern is a very small species of heron found in marshy habitats in the Americas. It feeds on small fish and insects that it hunts from a perched position among reeds standing in water.
Least Bitterns are often elusive. They spend their time in concealing vegetation, straddling and walking around reeds. If threatened, they freeze in place and may stand erect with the bill pointed straight up. In this way they resemble the reedy vegetation in which they are hiding.
Details & Statistics
The Least Bittern is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2012 by BirdLife International. This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is very large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.