Saturday, 17 May 2014

The "Cinnamon Bittern"

Taken at lunch time this afternoon when out walking the dogs; the bird I'd wanted to photograph the other day. The nerve of this bird is worth commenting on; whilst the dogs and little children will occasionally chase it, other times I have seen it stand still and erect whilst the dogs run by only a few yards away - oblivious to its presence. It took me a little while to look it up, searching for "small heron" but I think I've identified it now: "Ixobrychus cinnamomeus"...

As that last image above shows, it can retract its' long neck so much so that it disappears. The wikipedia entry states their feed as insects, fish and amphibians and, following the recent plum rains of the last two weeks, the park now has an abundance of small toads that come out at night. Yet the wikipedia page also states the bird's nesting ground as reed beds. Now that is a problem. At the back of this park there is a large, open field - which - until earlier this week, was all long grasses up to my waist: somewhat similar to riverside reeds. However, those long grasses have now all been cut by the city government's parks department. So where are these birds nesting now that that location is (presumably) no longer an option for them?



Apparently I was wrong, and the bird is in fact a "Malayan Night Heron." Thanks would normally go to the commenter, but since in this case the commenter was my greatest fan the anonymous coward, the remainder of whose comment was yet more foul abuse, I shall just leave it at that.

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