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Cloud Cisticola - BirdForum Opus

Alternative name: Tink-tink Cisticola

Photo by Mike Barth
Marievale, Johannesburg, South Africa, July 2011
Cisticola textrix


Length 9-10 cm (3½-4 in); mass 8-13 g
Breeding Adult: The upper parts are brown, streaked blackish. The tail is very short, the upper side being black with a white tip. The under parts are mostly whitish, with brown streaks on the sides of the breast and buffy-white flanks. The eyes are pale brown, and the legs and feet are pinkish brown.
Non-breeding Adult: Similar to the breeding adult, but the upper parts are more rusty, the crown is more heavily streaked, and the tail longer.

Similar species

Difficult to tell from Wing-snapping Cisticola unless calling.


Southern and eastern South Africa, western Swaziland, western Lesotho. There are also isolated populations in Angola, south-western Democratic Republic of Congo and western Zambia.



Cisticola textrix has five subspecies:

  • C. t. textrix: breast and flanks boldly streaked
  • C. t. bulubulu:
  • C. t. anselli:
  • Highlands of eastern Angola and north-western Zambia
  • C. t. marleyi:
  • C. t. major:


Short grassland with bare patches between grass tufts. Also fynbos patches with short restiods in the Western Cape.


Usually solitary.


Forages on the ground and in grass tufts for arthropods.


The nest is a ball of grass with a side entrance. It is built close to the ground on a grass tuft. Two to four eggs are laid (August to March in South Africa).


  1. 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
  2. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/

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