Family Herons (Ardeidae)

Near Threatened

Forest Bittern (Zonerodius heliosylus)


French: Onoré phaéton German: Bindenreiher Spanish: Avetigre papúa
Other common names: New Guinea Tiger-heron

Ardea Heliosyla

Lesson and Garnot

, 1828,

New Guinea




W Papuan Is (Salawati), New Guinea lowlands and Aru Is.

Descriptive notes

65–71 cm. Medium-sized, brown and buff-striped heron, with black crown, long bill, dark brown back and wings (finely barred buff), whitish rump and lower back, with... read more


Vocalizations very poorly known, with only a low grunting described, but a bittern-like booming has... read more


Little known. Always found along streams and rivers or by pools and swamps in densely forested... read more

Food and feeding

Very little known. Diet includes crayfish and other crustaceans (including crabs), small fish, water beetles, other insects, snakes and... read more


Very little information. Season presumably related to monsoon; in S of central mountain ridge, probably Apr–Jun. Solitary breeder.... read more


No evidence of any kind of movements.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened, with an estimated population of fewer than 10,000 individuals within an overall range of 625,000 km².... read more

Recommended citation

Martínez-Vilalta, A., Motis, A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Forest Bittern (Zonerodius heliosylus). 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 6 April 2020).