The black-backed bittern (Ixobrychus dubius), also known as the black-backed least bittern or Australian little bittern, is a little-known species of heron in the family Ardeidae found in Australia and vagrant to southern New Guinea. Formerly lumped with the little bittern, it is one of the smallest herons in the world.
The species measures from 25 to 36 cm, has a total weight of 60–120 g, averaging 84 g. This is a very small bittern and one of the smallest herons in the world. The adult male has largely black upperparts, including a black cap, while the underparts, as well as the neck, breast and the sides of the head, are rich chestnut. There are large buff patches on the shoulders, conspicuous in flight. The female is duller, brown and streaked on back and crown; immature birds are similar. The irides are yellow, the bill is yellow with a black culmen, and the feet and legs greenish-yellow.