[order] Ciconiiformes | [family] Ardeidae | [latin] Ixobrychus eurhythmus | [UK] Schrencks Bittern | [FR] Blongios de Schrenck | [DE] Mandschurendommel | [ES] Avetorillo Manch˙ | [IT] Tarabusino di Schrenk | [NL] Mandsjoerijs Woudaapje

Mandsjoerijs Woudaapje determination

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This is a small species at 38 cm in length, with a short neck, longish yellow bill and yellow legs. The male is uniformly chestnut above, and buff below and on the wing coverts. The female and juvenile are chestnut all over with white speckles above, and white streaks below. When in flight, it shows black flight feathers and tail.

Their breeding habitat is reedbeds. They can be difficult to see, given their skulking lifestyle and reedbed habitat, but tend to emerge at dusk, when they can be seen creeping almost cat-like in search of preys.

The Schrenck's Bittern, Ixobrychus eurhythmus is a small bittern. It breeds in China and Siberia from March to July, and Japan from May to August. It winters in Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Laos, passing through the rest of South-east Asia. It is an exceptionally rare vagrant as far west as Europe, with a single record from Italy as far back as 1912. It is named after Leopold Schrenk,the nineteenth century Russian naturalist.

Little known, feeds on fish, frogs, shrimps and insects. Mostly crepuscular, but also active during the day.

This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 1,000,000-10,000,000 km▓. It has a large global population estimated to be 10,000-25,000 individuals (Wetlands International 2002). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]

Nests solitary close to water just above or on the ground. Sometimes in thick vegetation but never above 1 meter. The nest is made of dry stalks line with grass with a clay base to keep the eggs from getting wet. Clutch size is 3-6 eggs, which are incubated 16-18 days.

Migration towards winter quarters starts in Aug, with main passage through Hong Kong in Sept, Oct, and through Malay Peninsula in Oct-Nov; returns through Thailand in Mar-Apr and through Malay Peninsula in Apr-Jun, reaching breeding grounds of S in Apr-May and extreme N in Jun. Vagrant to Burma and Palau Is (Micronesia); two surprising records from Europe, in Germany and Italy, the latter at any rate not apparently bird escaped from captivity.