The yellow bittern is a small bittern, breeding in much of the Indian Subcontinent, east to Japan and Indonesia. It is mainly resident, but some northern birds migrate short distances.
This is a small species at 15 in in length, with a short neck and longish bill. The male is uniformly dull yellow above and buff below. The head and neck are chestnut, with a black crown.
The female's crown, neck and breast are streaked brown, and the juvenile is like the female but heavily streaked brown below, and mottled with buff above.