Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Boran Cisticola (Cisticola bodessa)


French: Cisticole des Borans German: Boranzistensänger Spanish: Cistícola borana

Cisticola subruficapilla bodessa


, 1913,

Bodessa, southern Ethiopia


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. b. bodessa Mearns, 1913 – N Eritrea, SE South Sudan, S Ethiopia and Kenya.
  • C. b. kaffensis Érard, 1974 – Gibe Valley, in C Ethiopia.
  • Descriptive notes

    13–14 cm; male 21 g, female 14 g. A medium-large, streak-backed cisticola with fairly long graduated tail. Male nominate race has lores whitish, extending slightly... read more


    Male song, from elevated perch, often atop a tall tree, a rapid series of notes lasting 1·5–2... read more


    Confined to Somali-Masai biome; occurs on rocky hillsides with sparse grassland and shrubs, grassy... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet mainly insects. Forages 1–3 m up in vegetation.


    Season Apr–Jun, possibly also Sept–Nov. Probably monogamous; solitary, territorial. Male sings from a high perch, usually 3... read more


    Little known; presumably mostly resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally fairly common; status difficult to assess in many areas owing to widespread confusion with C. chiniana. Occurs in Nechisar National... read more

    Recommended citation

    Ryan, P. (2019). Boran Cisticola (Cisticola bodessa). 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 26 August 2019).