Cisticola erythrops (Red-faced cisticola) 

Rooiwangtinktinkie [Afrikaans]; Harudeve (generic term for cisticola or prinia) [Kwangali]; Timba (generic name for cisticolas and warblers) [Shona]; Roodmasker-graszanger [Dutch]; Cisticole à face rousse [French]; Rotgesicht-zistensänger [German]; Fuinha-de-faces-vermelhas [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Passeriformes > Family: Cisticolidae > Genus: Cisticola

isticola erythrops (Red-faced cisticola)   

Red-faced cisticola. [photo Neil Gray ©]

 

Distribution and habitat

Occurs patchily across sub-Saharan Africa, in West Africa and from Ethiopia through southern DRC and Zambia to southern Africa. Here it locally common, preferring tall, moist grassland in marshes, along watercourses and reedbeds; it may also occupy dense vegetation on dry slopes.

Distribution of Red-faced cisticola in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  

Food 

It eats a variety of insects, doing most of its foraging low down in the undergrowth. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:

Breeding

  • The nest (see image below) is oval-shaped with a side entrance, built of leaves and dry grass secured with spider web, with an outer shell of living leaves. A soft plant down lining is added by the female during incubation. It is typically incorporated into the foliage of a herb, shrub, forb or small tree, usually less than half a metre above ground.
Cisticola erythrops (Red-faced cisticola)   

Red-faced cisticola nest, Hazyview, South Africa. [photo Warwick Tarboton ©]

 
  • Egg-laying season is from October-March, peaking from about December-February.
  • It lays 2-4 eggs, which are incubated mainly by the female for about 12-16 days.
  • At first the chicks are brooded by the female, while the male regularly brings her and her young food. They usually stay in the nest for about 14-16 days.

Threats

Not threatened.

References

  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town. 

 

 

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