Black Bittern

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Black Bittern (Ixobrychus flavicollis)
Tampines, 9th January 2018

This Black Bittern had died so recently that the body was still warm to the touch, and the blood was still bright red and had yet to coagulate. It is possible that it died after flying into a nearby building. The carcass was passed to David Tan, as part of his research on bird mortality in Singapore.


After a quiet day yesterday, another #deadbird this morning in the form of a Schrenck’s Bittern (Ixobrychus eurhythmus), found at the base of a HDB block in Jurong West. Cause of death remains unknown.

Source: David Tan Facebook

Picked up a dead Von Schrenck’s Bittern (Ixobrychus eurhythmus) From Singapore today. Body was found at the base of an apartment block with no apparent external injuries and no clear indication of a window collision (the body was facing the side of the block that was solid walls with no windows). I did a brief assessment of the pectoral muscles to check if it was malnourished but it was very well-fed so it couldn’t have died of hunger.

Source: David Tan, on Dead Birds (for Science!) Facebook Group

Picked up 3 carcasses today in Singapore, one Yellow Bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis) (top), and two Blue-winged Pittas (Pitta moluccensis) (below). The Pittas died after crashing into glass (seems like the main migratory wave is passing through right about now) and the Bittern was found exhausted in the middle of a carpark but died shortly after.

Source: David Tan, in Dead Birds (for Science!) Facebook

On finding a dead bird, most people are keen to have them disposed of at the earliest opportunity. Not this one guy, he found a dead Black Bittern (Ixobrychus flavicollis) at the base of his apartment block and kept the bird in his home freezer for 3 weeks while he searched for a research organisation to donate the carcass to. What an angel.

Source: David Tan, on Dead Birds Facebook Group

Migratory Black Bittern (Ixobrychus flavicollis) found dead in Singapore. Body was moved before I arrived so cause of death is likely impossible to determine barring an autopsy.

Source: David Tan, on Dead Birds Facebook Group

An uncommon winter visitor to Singapore, and one of our more elusive bird species, the Black Bittern is a spectacular bird that lives within the thick vegetation of freshwater swamps and wetlands.

This bird, however, was found nowhere near a wetland habitat, and was instead found dead at the void deck of Block 226 at Pasir Ris St. 21, and was likely to have been dazed by the bright urban lights prior to having met with its untimely end.

Source: David Tan Instagram