Scientific Name: Ixobrychus flavicollis
Malay Name: Gelam Hitam
Chinese Name: 黑鳽
Range: Found from the Indian subcontinent to southern China, Southeast Asia and northern Australia with some northern population wintering in Southeast Asia
Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: flavicollis, australis, woodfordi.
Local Subspecies: flavicollis
Size: 54-61 cm
Identification: Male has black upperparts, whitish throat, whitish breast with dense dark streaks, and yellow neck-patch. Female resembles male but has darker brown upperparts and more rufescent breast-streaks. Juvenile resemble female but feathers of the crown and upperside have narrow rufous fringes, giving a scaly appearance.
Habitat: Marshes, reedbeds in ponds, and mangroves.
Behaviour/Ecology: Often secretive, hiding in reeds for long periods of time.
Local Status: Uncommon migrant
Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)
Location: Singapore Botanic Gardens, Satay by the Bay, Chinese Gardens, Bidadari, Pasir Ris Park, Pulau Ubin, Tuas South and Sungei Buloh.
- Bird List Revision for January 2020 (Revisions)
Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):
Black Bittern Ixobrychus flavicollis Estimated average number of individuals by week based on eBird data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023
BirdLife International. (2016). Ixobrychus flavicollis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22697334A93608997.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023
Jeyarajasingam, A., & Pearson, A. (2012). A Field Guide to the Birds of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford University Press.
Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.
Bird Society of Singapore. (n.d.). Black Bittern. Retrieved on November 30, 2023 from https://singaporebirds.com/species/black-bittern.