Alternative name: Tinkling Cisticola (beware of confusion with Cisticola rufilatus
- Cisticola tinniens
Length 12-15 cm
- Grey upperparts heavily streaked with black
- Rufous panel in the folded wing
- Buffish-white supercilium, face and underparts
- Red cap
- Russet brown tail
- Short straight blackish-brown bill with a pinkish base
- Pink brown feet and legs
- Light brown eye
Non-breeding adults are browner-backed
Juvenile birds have yellower underparts.
Western Africa: Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola
Eastern Africa: Kenya, Burundi, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, Lesotho, Swaziland
Cisticola tinniens has five subspecies:
- Highlands of western and central Kenya
- Mountains north-west of Lake Tanganyika
Hockey et al. recognise a sixth subspecies, C. t. brookei, restricted to south-western South Africa.
Reedbeds, sedges, rank grass, and similar wet habitats usually near rivers or dams.
The nest is ball-shaped, formed from dry grass, cobwebs and matted plant down, with a side entrance. It is placed in grass or weeds, in or over water. The breeding season varies accross climatic zones; peak breeding times are generally in the rainy season.
The diet includes insects.
- Clements, JF. 2010. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2010. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/Clements%206.5.xls/view
- Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533
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