Family Herons (Ardeidae)

Least Concern

Stripe-backed Bittern (Ixobrychus involucris)


French: Blongios varié German: Streifendommel Spanish: Avetorillo listado
Other common names: Streaked Bittern

Ardea involucris


, 1823,





Apparently disjunct range in South America: N & E Colombia through N Venezuela, Trinidad and Guyana to Suriname and (status unclear) French Guiana; also SE Bolivia, Paraguay and S Brazil (Rio de Janeiro S to Rio Grande do Sul) to C Argentina (Río Negro) and WC Chile (Coquimbo to Los Lagos). Reported outside its known range in Brazil and Peru.

Descriptive notes

28–35 cm; 63–104 g. Adult has prominent black stripe from forehead over central crown and onto nape, rest of head, neck, back and wings mainly sandy buff, heavily... read more


Territorial or advertising vocalizations, given both by day or night, are lower-pitched than those... read more


Fresh and brackish-water areas with cattails, sedges (Scirpus, Typha) and long... read more

Food and feeding

Small fish (e.g. Lebestes), crustaceans, dragonflies, water beetles (Dytiscus) and other insects and their larvae. Feeds... read more


Little known. In Argentina and S Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul) nests in spring, Oct–Jan, but recorded Jul–Oct on Trinidad.... read more


Little known. Presumed to be sedentary in some areas where occurs year-round, e.g. Chile, S Brazil... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally scarce, though appears common in places. Only recently discovered in Minas Gerais (SE Brazil) and, further S, no recent... read more

Recommended citation

Martínez-Vilalta, A., Motis, A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Stripe-backed Bittern (Ixobrychus involucris). 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 27 February 2020).