http://www.abc.net.au/radionatio ... n-twice-shy/6268600
The Australasian bittern is a strange bird. It has a low, loud call, and has been known to use grass stalks as tools. Strangest of all, about a third of the world’s population chooses to make its home in the rice fields of the NSW Riverina. Ann Jones gets to know this enigmatic animal.
Bitterns have an extremely narrow habitat preference: they’re picky about the depth of the water, the height of the reeds and the other types of cover that are present in the vicinity. Of course, they also need food to feast on and feed to their fledging chicks.
So really, given their peculiar song and ecological vulnerability it’s a delight that they’re sneaking around doing their funny business in the rice bays of the Riverina.
*The Bitterns in Rice project is mainly funded by the Riverina Local Land Services, and is collaboration between the Rice Growers’ Association of Australia and Birdlife Australia.