Kakkak: Common on Guam

Scientific Name: Isobrychus sinensis (Family ARDEIDAE)

Common Name: Yellow Bittern

CHamoru Name: Kakkak

Habitat and Natural History: Yellow bittern live in a variety of habitats including savanna, forest, offshore islands, tangantangan, weedy tall grass and mowed fields. They feed on snails, geckos, insects, and fish. They are not strong fliers. They lay three to four eggs which are tended by both parents. Yellow bittern are shy, and usually solitary, although flocks of up to 30 individuals have been observed. On Guam the yellow bittern is considered a potential threat to airplane traffic near runways.

Description: This is the smallest bittern type bird. It is pale yellow with black on the wings. The coloring makes excellent camouflage.

Range: Kakkak are found throughout Micronesian on the islands of Palau; Yap, Guam; Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; and Chuuk

Current Status: Common

Threats: Habitat loss, predation by the brown treesnake.

By Gretchen R. Grimm, MS