Winding cisticola

Winding cisticola
Cisticola galactotes
Photo by Hugh Chittenden (Bird Info)

Common name:
winding cisticola (en); fuinha-de-dorso-preto (pt); cisticole roussâtre (fr); buitrón musical (es); schwarzrücken-cistensänger (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Cisticolidae

This African species is found from Senegal to Sudan and Ethiopia and south to Angola, northern Namibia and Botswana, Mozambique and north-eastern South Africa.

These birds are 11-15 cm long and weigh 10-15 g.

Winding cisticolas are mostly found in marshes, bogs, swamps and seasonally flooded grasslands, but also occur in scrublands, dry savannas, plantations and arable land.

They are insectivorous, mostly taking crickets, grasshoppers, beetles and caterpillars. They are also known to eat seeds.

The winding cisticola breeds in September-February. They are monogamous and territorial, nesting in an oval or ball shaped structure with a side entrance, woven with dry grasses and living grass blades. The nest is lined with plant down and grass inflorescences and placed in a marsh near the water surface, amongst grass or reeds up to about 1,2 m above the ground. The female lays 2-4 eggs which are incubated for 12-19 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 14-17 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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