Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Ethiopian Cisticola (Cisticola lugubris)


French: Cisticole d’Éthiopie German: Äthiopienzistensänger Spanish: Cistícola lúgubre

Sylvia (Cisticola) lugubris


, 1840,

Gondar, Ethiopia


See C. galactotes (below). Monotypic.


Highlands of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Descriptive notes

12–14 cm; male 14–15 g, female 12 g. A medium-sized cisticola with striped back and fairly long graduated tail. In breeding plumage has face creamy buff, ear-... read more


Little known; various “trrt” and “chit” calls, also a dry “... read more


Rank growth on edges of marshes, also drier habitats, including montane heath and bracken and... read more

Food and feeding

Diet mainly insects, obtained by gleaning from foliage, stems and on the ground.


Jun–Oct, with peak in Sept. Probably monogamous; solitary, territorial. Apparently lacks aerial courtship display, other than rather... read more


Little known; presumably mostly resident.

Status and conservation

Not assessed. Generally considered to be fairly common within its small range.

Recommended citation

Ryan, P. (2019). Ethiopian Cisticola (Cisticola lugubris). 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).