Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Black-lored Cisticola (Cisticola nigriloris)


French: Cisticole masquée German: Schwarzzügel-Zistensänger Spanish: Cistícola enmascarado

Cisticola nigriloris


, 1897,

Kombe, Misuku Mountains, north Malawi




Highlands of S Tanzania, extreme NE Zambia and N Malawi.

Descriptive notes

15–17 cm; male 21–22 g, female 17–18 g. A large, plain-backed cisticola with distinctive black lores and duetting display; tail graduated. Has lores black,... read more


Sings throughout year. Partners sing antiphonal duet, male leads with 3–4 whistled notes,... read more


Confined to Afrotropical highlands biome; occurs in tall grass, bracken (Pteridium aquilinum... read more

Food and feeding

Diet mainly insects. Occurs in pairs and in family parties of up to nine individuals; often accompanied by Common Stonechats (Saxicola... read more


Nesting Nov–Apr, mainly during rains. Probably monogamous, but may have helpers at nest. Solitary nester, weakly territorial; pairs... read more


Little known; presumably mostly resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: present in Tanzania-Malawi Mountains EBA. Fairy numerous within its very small range.

Recommended citation

Ryan, P. (2019). Black-lored Cisticola (Cisticola nigriloris). 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 19 September 2019).