French: Butor étoilé German: Rohrdommel Spanish: Avetoro común
Other common names: Great Bittern
Closely related to B. poiciloptilus, and previously considered conspecific. Two subspecies recognized.
Subspecies and Distribution
B. s. stellaris
(Linnaeus, 1758) – breeds from Sweden, England and Spain through Europe, N Africa, Middle East and C Asia E to Russian Far East, NE China and Japan; winters in C & S Europe, Mediterranean Basin E to S & SE Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
B. s. capensis
(Schlegel, 1863) – S Africa from N Zambia to NE South Africa.
64–80 cm; male 750–2060 g, female 650–1150 g; wingspan 125–135 cm. Vagrants of B. lentiginosus have reached range of present species, but... read more
Male song (given from late winter, according to prevailing climatic conditions), used in... read more
Highly restricted habitat requirements during breeding season: quiet, little-disturbed marshes... read more
Food and feeding
Very variable, depending on place and season: mainly fish of of wide variety of species, particularly cyprinids and eels (including ... read more
In Eurasia laying Mar–Jul, occasionally earlier, with records from Jan in Spain, but in Italy apparently nests on average later in... read more
Extensive post-breeding movements by juveniles, sometimes of hundreds of kilometres. Partial... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Previously considered Near Threatened. General decline, especially in Europe, since 19th century, due to habitat destruction,... read more
Only subscribers are able to see the bibliography. Login or Subscribe to get access to a lot of extra features!