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Levaillant's Cisticola

From Opus

Photo by CollinBaxCape Town, South Africa, April 2009
Photo by CollinBax
Cape Town, South Africa, April 2009

Alternative name: Tinkling Cisticola (beware of confusion with Cisticola rufilatus

Cisticola tinniens


[edit] Identification

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.

Photo by MybsNear Stellenbosch, South Africa, September 2005
Photo by Mybs
Near Stellenbosch, South Africa, September 2005

[edit] Distribution

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

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

Cisticola tinniens has five subspecies[1]:

  • C. t. perpullus
  • C. t. oreophilus
  • Highlands of western and central Kenya
  • C. t. shiwae
  • C. t. dyleffi
  • Mountains north-west of Lake Tanganyika
  • C. t. tinniens

Hockey et al.[2] recognise a sixth subspecies, C. t. brookei, restricted to south-western South Africa.

[edit] Habitat

Reedbeds, sedges, rank grass, and similar wet habitats usually near rivers or dams.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Breeding

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.

[edit] Diet

The diet includes insects.

[edit] References

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. Wikipedia

[edit] External Links


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