Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Dambo Cisticola (Cisticola dambo)


French: Cisticole dambo German: Dambozistensänger Spanish: Cistícola dambo
Other common names: Cloud-scraping Cisticola, Black-tailed Cisticola

Cisticola dambo


, 1931,

Nasondoye, south DRCongo


Closely allied to C. textrix and C. eximius. Racial identity of population in SE Gabon unknown; tentatively included in kasai. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. d. kasai Lynes, 1936 – SE Gabon, and S DRCongo (NW Kasai district).
  • C. d. dambo Lynes, 1931 – SE DRCongo, E Angola and NW Zambia.
  • Descriptive notes

    11 cm; male 8–11 g, female 7–10 g. A small, richly coloured cisticola with medium-short, rounded tail and streaked upperparts. Male nominate race breeding has... read more


    Male song, from perch or in aerial display, a series of thin whistles, “woo-see” or “woo-see-see”,... read more


    Confined to Zambezian biome; occurs in short to medium-tall grassland in seasonally flooded areas.... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet mainly insects. Usually found singly and in pairs. Forages low down in grass tufts and on the ground.


    Nesting Oct–Jan. Probably monogamous; solitary, territorial. Male has aerial display, rises to up to 150 m while giving sharp... read more


    Little known; presumably mostly resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common.

    Recommended citation

    Ryan, P. (2019). Dambo Cisticola (Cisticola dambo). 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).