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Image from Bitterns In Rice

Sometimes called the Bunyip Bird because of its booming night-time call, the Australasian Bittern is a very secretive species that makes its nest in thick sedges, reeds and rushes on the edge of freshwater wetlands.

The Australasian Bittern is globally endangered, and is known to visit and potentially breed within the Hunter wetlands.

It is extremely well camouflaged with brown speckled feathers that blend into the reeds. It hunts for food at night and when alarmed adopts an upright stance and sways in the breeze like the reeds. No wonder it is rarely seen!

Once common in the Hunter Region, loss of habitat and the threat from feral animals has made the life of this shy bird a test of survival.

The Bittern or Bust interactive game and other resources below were developed by Hunter Wetlands Centre with support from Hunter Local Land Services through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, aims to raise awareness about this globally endangered bird.

Bittern or bust

Be a Citizen Scientist

take the Bittern survey before you play!

Test your knowledge and complete a quiz before and after you play! Then, play the game “Bittern or Bust” to test the survival for this rare and secretive bird!

Test your survival skills by playing the new interactive game Bittern or Bust: how long will you survive as a Bittern?  

Suitable for adults and children over 8 years.


If the in game survey isn’t working (you might have a pop up blocker or be on a mobile), come back here to take the after survey!

Image from Bitterns In Rice

What can you do to help the australasian bittern?


Keep your cat inside at night-time

If you see a fox, report it on the Feral/Scan app

Recycle, or put your rubbish in the bin. Don’t dump rubbish in nature!

Join your local bird watching organisation

If you think you’ve seen an Australasian Bittern, report it using the Birdata app

In love with the Bunyip bird?

Bitterns In Rice Project

The Bitterns in Rice Project is about farming and wildlife conservation working together.

Hunter Region Landcare Network

HRLN is undertaking a Shorebirds project, including the Australasian Bittern.

Birdlife Australia

BirdLife Australia has profiles on all sorts of birds, including the Australasian Bittern.

Game developed by DotJess
Original illustrations by Hannah Grace