Family Cisticolas and allies (Cisticolidae)

Least Concern

Hunter's Cisticola (Cisticola hunteri)


French: Cisticole de Hunter German: Gebirgszistensänger Spanish: Cistícola de Hunter

Cisticola hunteri


, 1889,

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania


Birds in N of range (Mt Elgon) plainer and more rufous than those in S (N Tanzania), which are browner and more streaked; also some altitudinal variation, birds from more open habitats at high elevations on Mt Kilimanjaro being drabber than those lower down; but variation seems to be clinal. Monotypic.


Highlands of E Uganda (Mt Elgon), WC Kenya and N Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

13–15 cm; male 14–19 g, female 12–18 g. A fairly large cisticola, plain or mottled on back, with dark lores and duetting display; tail graduated. Has rufous... read more


Sings throughout year. Partners duet, male producing sweet whistles as “wheet-cheeer”, “too-it”, “... read more


Confined to Afrotropical highlands biome; occurs in dense undergrowth, rank growth on edges of... read more

Food and feeding

Diet mainly insects, including beetles (Coleoptera), grasshoppers (Orthoptera), mantids (Mantodea), and caterpillars, moths and butterflies... read more


Breeds Mar–Nov, probably throughout year, but mainly during rains; possibly double-brooded. Probably monogamous; solitary,... read more


Sedentary; groups remain at same site for several years.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Kenyan Mountains EBA. Common to abundant throughout its small range.

Recommended citation

Ryan, P. (2019). Hunter's Cisticola (Cisticola hunteri). 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 26 August 2019).