Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Chirping Cisticola (Cisticola pipiens)


French: Cisticole pépiante German: Sumpfzistensänger Spanish: Cistícola gorjeador

Cisticola pipiens


, 1930,

Huambo, Benguela, Angola


Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. p. pipiens Lynes, 1930 – W Angola.
  • C. p. congo Lynes, 1936 – Burundi, S DRCongo, E Angola, Zambia and extreme SW Tanzania.
  • C. p. arundicola Clancey, 1969 – SE Angola, SW Zambia, NE Namibia, N Botswana and extreme NW Zimbabwe.
  • Descriptive notes

    12–14 cm; male 13–15 g, female 12–14 g. A medium-sized cisticola with boldly striped back and long, rather broad graduated tail. Male nominate race breeding... read more


    Typical call a series of 2–3 notes followed immediately by long, dry trill, “chip chip-ip-... read more


    Confined to Zambezian biome; occurs in tall reedbeds, papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) and tall... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet mainly insects, including grasshoppers (Orthoptera). Occurs singly, in pairs or in family parties. Forages by gleaning reeds and other... read more


    Nov–Apr, during rains, but a few breed earlier, from Oct, without acquiring breeding plumage; may attempt a second brood. Probably... read more


    Apparently resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common. Recorded density of c. 1 pair/ha in NW Zimbabwe.

    Recommended citation

    Ryan, P. & Dean, R. (2019). Chirping Cisticola (Cisticola pipiens). 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).