Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Chubb's Cisticola (Cisticola chubbi)


French: Cisticole de Chubb German: Farnzistensänger Spanish: Cistícola de Chubb

Cisticola chubbi


, 1892,

Mnagiki, Mount Elgon, Kenya


W races adametzi and discolor sometimes considered to represent a separate species, but plumage differences minor while vocal analysis indicates structure similar, with no clear differences#R. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. c. adametzi Reichenow, 1910 – highlands of SE Nigeria and SW Cameroon.
  • C. c. discolor Sjöstedt, 1893 – Brown-backed Cisticola – Mt Cameroon.
  • C. c. chubbi Sharpe, 1892 – Chubb's Cisticola – highlands of E DRCongo, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, W Kenya and NW Tanzania.
  • C. c. marungensis Chapin, 1932 – Marungu Mts, in SE DRCongo.
  • Descriptive notes

    14–16 cm; male 14–21 g, female 11–18 g. A fairly large, plain-backed cisticola with distinctive black lores and duetting display; tail graduated. Nominate... read more


    Sings throughout year from elevated perch. Partners sing in antiphonal duet; male initiates song... read more


    Confined to Afrotropical highlands biome; occurs in tall grass, bushes and rank vegetation along... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet mainly insects. Usually occurs in pairs or small family groups. Forages in tangled vegetation; once followed an ant swarm through... read more


    Breeds mainly in Sept–Mar dry season in SW Cameroon; season poorly defined in E Africa, where nesting records throughout year.... read more


    Little known; presumably mostly resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. W races (adametzi and discolor), if specifically distinct, would represent a restricted-range species: present in Cameroon... read more

    Recommended citation

    Ryan, P. (2019). Chubb's Cisticola (Cisticola chubbi). 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 20 August 2019).