Family Herons (Ardeidae)

Least Concern

Cinnamon Bittern (Ixobrychus cinnamomeus)


French: Blongios cannelle German: Zimtdommel Spanish: Avetorillo canelo

Ardea cinnamomea

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,





Indian Subcontinent (with Sri Lanka) to C, S & E China and Taiwan, and through SE Asia to Greater and Lesser Sundas, Sulawesi and Philippines; also occurs in Andaman and Nicobar Is and Maldives. N populations spend non-breeding season in S of breeding range.

Descriptive notes

40–41 cm; 89·5–164 g; wingspan 49·5 cm. Slightly smaller than I. eurhythmus with cinnamon and wings and back, and also smaller than ... read more


In territory defence and advertisement (mainly at night and around dawn) gives a short, even-tempo... read more


Mainly flooded rice fields and grassy areas, often near human habitation; frequently active in... read more

Food and feeding

Fish, including eels up to 13 cm long (as well as Trichogaster, Clarias, Ophiocephalus), frogs, molluscs,... read more


Jun–Sept in India, starting with monsoons; in Sumatra eggs recorded Jan–Mar in lowlands, Oct–Dec in highlands; in Malay... read more


N populations spend non-breeding season in S of breeding range, apparently moving in connection... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widespread and common in most of range; well adapted to man-made habitats, and most populations appear to be quite healthy, despite... read more

Recommended citation

Martínez-Vilalta, A., Motis, A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Cinnamon Bittern (Ixobrychus cinnamomeus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 17 February 2020).