Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)


Aberdare Cisticola (Cisticola aberdare)


French: Cisticole des Aberdare German: Aberdarezistensänger Spanish: Cistícola de los Aberdare

Cisticola robusta aberdare


, 1930,

Aberdare Mountains, Kenya


Sometimes treated as conspecific with C. robustus (which see). Monotypic.


Highlands of WC Kenya on each side of Rift Valley (Molo, Mau Narok, Aberdare Mts, and possibly Kinangop Plateau).

Descriptive notes

12–15 cm; 18–24 g. A large, stocky cisticola with heavy bill, plain face, boldly striped upperparts, and medium-long graduated tail. Has buffy face, ear-coverts... read more


Male song a varied series of short trills and churring calls, usually preceded by several notes,... read more


Moorland above 3000 m in Aberdare; moist montane grassland above 2300 m at Mau Narok and Molo,... read more

Food and feeding

Diet mainly insects, including beetles (Coleoptera) and flies (Diptera). Forages by gleaning vegetation and on the ground.


Nesting recorded Jan–May and Aug–Nov. Probably monogamous; solitary, territorial. Nest built by both sexes, a flimsy ball, side... read more


Little known; presumably mostly resident.

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Restricted-range species: present in Kenyan Mountains EBA. Population crudely estimated to be in the range 50,000–10,000 individuals, and decreasing.... read more

Recommended citation

Ryan, P. (2019). Aberdare Cisticola (Cisticola aberdare). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 7 December 2019).