French: Cisticole grinçante German: Rotscheitel-Zistensänger Spanish: Cistícola cascabel
near Zeerust, South Africa
Subspecies and Distribution
C. c. simplex
(Heuglin, 1869) – S South Sudan, NE DRCongo and N Uganda.
C. c. fortis
Lynes, 1930 – SE Gabon, Congo and S DRCongo S to NC Angola and Zambia (except SW & E).
C. c. fricki
Mearns, 1913 – Eritrea, Ethiopia and N Kenya.
C. c. humilis
Madarász, 1904 – highlands of E Uganda and W Kenya.
C. c. ukamba
Lynes, 1930 – highlands of C Kenya and N Tanzania.
C. c. heterophrys
Oberholser, 1906 – coastal Kenya and N Tanzania.
C. c. victoria
Lynes, 1930 – SW Kenya and N Tanzania (area around L Victoria).
C. c. fischeri
Reichenow, 1891 – NC Tanzania.
C. c. keithi
Parkes, 1987 – SC Tanzania.
C. c. mbeya
Parkes, 1987 – S Tanzania.
C. c. emendatus
Vincent, 1944 – SE Tanzania, Malawi and N Mozambique.
C. c. procerus
W. K. H. Peters, 1868 – E Zambia, S Malawi and C Mozambique.
C. c. bensoni
Traylor, 1964 – S Zambia.
C. c. smithersi
B. P. Hall, 1956 – S Angola, extreme N Namibia, NW Botswana, and extreme SW Zambia and W Zimbabwe.
C. c. chiniana
(A. Smith, 1843) – Zimbabwe, interior S Mozambique, SE Botswana and South African Plateau.
C. c. frater
Reichenow, 1916 – C Namibia.
C. c. campestris
Gould, 1845 – coastal plain of S Mozambique, Swaziland and E South Africa.
12–15 cm; male 12–21 g, female 10–18 g. A medium-large, streak-backed cisticola (streaking reduced in coastal E Africa) with fairly long graduated tail.... read more
Male song, from elevated perch, throughout year but more so in breeding season, a loud series of 1... read more
Bush clumps in savanna, dry woodland and semi-arid shrublands; also old cultivated lands,... read more
Food and feeding
Diet insects and small invertebrates, including beetles and weevils (Coleoptera), termite alates (Isoptera), grasshoppers and crickets (... read more
Nesting in Mar–Dec N of equator and Sept–Mar in S. Usually breeds in pairs, but group-breeding in some areas. Territorial in... read more
Resident. In Kenya, dispersing males move only 1–2 territories away.
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened. Common to abundant in most of range. Occurs at densities of 1·6–3·6 birds/ha in acacia (Acacia) savanna but only 0... read more
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