Red-faced cisticola

Red-faced cisticola
Cisticola erythrops

(Photo from Internet Bird Collection)

Common name:
red-faced cisticola (en); fuinha-de-faces-vermelhas (pt); cisticole à face rousse (fr); buitrón de cara roja (es); rotgesicht-cistensänger (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Cisticolidae

This species is patchily distributed across sub-Saharan Africa, from Mauritania, across west and central Africa into Ethiopia and south to Angola in western Africa and south to Mozambique and north-eastern South Africa in eastern Africa.

These birds are 14 cm long and weigh around 15 g.

The red-faced cisticola is found in marshes, bogs, swamps, wet grasslands, scrublands, riverine thickets and also in rural gardens. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 2.400 m.

They forage in the vegetation, taking various insects such as beetles, flies, ants and termite alates.

Red-faced cisticolas breed in October-March. The nest is an oval-shaped structure with a side entrance, made of leaves and dry grasses secured with spider web, with an outer shell of living leaves. It is typically incorporated into the foliage of a herb, scrub, forb or small tree, usually less than half a metre above ground. There the female lays 2-4 white or light grey eggs with reddish blotches, which she mainly incubates alone for 12-16 days. The chicks are brooded and fed by the female, while the male brings the food, fledging 14-16 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as locally common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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