Chordates •

Least bittern

(Ixobrychus exilis)



The least bittern (Ixobrychus exilis) is a small heron,the smallest member of the family Ardeidae found in the Americas.The least bittern is one of the smallest herons in the world,with perhaps only the dwarf bittern and the black-backed bittern averaging smaller in length.It can measure from 28 to 36 cm (11 to 14 in) in length,and the wingspan ranges from 41 to 46 cm (16 to 18 in).Body mass is from 51 to 102 g (1.8 to 3.6 oz),with most least bitterns weighing between 73 and 95 g (2.6 and 3.4 oz),making this perhaps the lightest of all herons.A recent manual of avian body masses cites another species in this genus,the stripe-backed bittern,as having a mean body mass slightly lower than the least bittern,which is credited with a mean mass of 86.3 g (3.04 oz).The bird's underparts and throat are white with light brown streaks.Its face and the sides of the neck are light brown;it has yellow eyes and a yellow bill.The adult male is glossy greenish-black on the back and crown;the adult female is glossy brown on these parts.They show light brown parts on the wings in flight.

Taxonomic tree:

Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Aves
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