Yellow Bittern – leucistic?

“Visited the UTAR Campus, Kampar, Perak with my wife to enjoy some cycling in this lovely ‘green’ Campus which is built around rehabilitated ex-mining pools (now wetlands). Lots of herons, egrets, bitterns, etc.

“We arrived early and my wife, a great bird spotter, saw this unusual looking bittern. The sun was just coming over a ridge at 8.30 am, but views were good and this bittern definitely looked very pale. I am certain it is an adult male Yellow Bittern (Ixobrychus sinensis). However the bill was rather pink and the plumage pale pink. The outer flight feathers were black and the iris yellow as expected.

“Wonder if it is some mild leucistic form. We did see other ‘normal’ looking Yellow Bitterns.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS & Datin, Dr Swee-Im Lim
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
1st July 2012

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Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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