Von Schrenck’s Bittern

Scientific Name: Ixobrychus eurhythmus
Malay Name: Gelam Belakang Coklat
Chinese Name: 紫背苇鳽
Alternative Name(s): Chestnut Bittern, Schrenck's Bittern

Found from Siberia, Korea, Japan to eastern China and winters in southern China and Southeast Asia


Size: 39-42 cm

Male has dark chestnut upperparts contrasting strongly with mostly buffish underparts and wing-coverts. Female and juvenile resembles Cinnamon Bittern but has the distinctive black median crown stripe and much bolder white to buff speckling and spotting on upperparts and upperwing-coverts.

Similar looking species: Cinnamon Bittern

Habitat: Freshwater marshes, forest streams, well-vegetated ponds and mangroves.

Behaviour/Ecology: Similar to other bitterns where it perches motionless for long periods before feeding.

Local Status: Rare migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: Central Catchment Forest, Lower Pierce Reservoir, Tuas South, Pasir Ris Park, Sungei Buloh and Satay by the Bay.

Featured reports: Mar 2022, Apr 2022, Nov 2022

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

BirdLife International. (2016). Ixobrychus eurhythmus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22697317A93607859.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.