Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Chattering Cisticola (Cisticola anonymus)


French: Cisticole babillarde German: Waldzistensänger Spanish: Cistícola charlatán

Drymoeca anonyma

J. W. von Müller

, 1855,

Nun River, Niger Delta, Nigeria


Recently confirmed to occur in Sierra Leone, c. 1500 km from species’ main distribution; further research needed to determine whether this population might be subspecifically distinct#R. Monotypic.


S Nigeria E to NE DRCongo and S to NW Angola; also SE Sierra Leone#R.

Descriptive notes

13–15 cm; male 15–19 g, female 11–14 g. A medium-sized, plain-backed cisticola with rather straight, slender bill, rufous wash on face, tail graduated;... read more


Male song 2–3 short notes followed by trill, and lasting 1–1·5 seconds, “ji-ji-ji-... read more


Confined to Guinea-Congo forests biome; occurs in tall grass with scattered bushes, including... read more

Food and feeding

Diet mainly insects, including termite alates (Isoptera), grasshoppers and crickets (Orthoptera), caterpillars and butterflies (Lepidoptera... read more


Nesting in all months, peak May and Oct in Cameroon, Jan–Feb in Gabon, and Oct–Nov in PRCongo, DRCongo and Angola. Apparently... read more


Largely sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common to abundant throughout much of its range; scarce in N Angola. Density at M’Passa, in Gabon, decreased from 1·7 birds/ha to 0·6 birds/ha... read more

Recommended citation

Ryan, P. (2019). Chattering Cisticola (Cisticola anonymus). 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 17 September 2019).