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Red-faced Cisticola - BirdForum Opus

Breeding plumage
Photo by Alan Manson
Ngwenya Lodge, near Kruger National Park, South Africa
Cisticola erythrops

Includes Lepe Cisticola


Length 14 cm, mass 15 g. Upperparts light olive grey, with a rusty buff forecrown and an indistinct pale eyebrow. The face is light rufous.
In summer, creamy white below, and buff on the breast.
In winter, the breast and throat are tawny. The eyes are brown, the bill dark horn and the legs and feet pinkish.
Most easily identified by the loud weet-weet-weet call-notes from its song.


Sub-Saharan Africa; distribution patchy.

Non-breeding plumage
Photo by Alan Manson
Darville, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa


Six subspecies recognized:


Tall, rank vegetation (reedbeds, tall grass and weedy areas) in or near wetlands, and along streams and rivers.


Found singly, or in pairs or small groups; very vocal.


Forages in the undergrowth for insects and other invertebrates.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ & Ryan PG (eds) 2005. Robert's Birds of Southern Africa, 7th edition. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 0620340533

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