Cisticola galactotes (Rufous-winged cisticola, Black-backed cisticola) 

Swartrugtinktinkie [Afrikaans]; Harudeve (generic term for cisticola or prinia) [Kwangali]; Zwartrug-graszanger [Dutch]; Cisticole roussâtre [French]; Schwarzrücken-zistensänger [German]; Fuinha-de-dorso-preto [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

For information on how to distinguish this species from the Luapula cisticola, see birdinfo.co.za.

Cisticola galactotes (Rufous-winged cisticola, Black-backed cisticola)  

Rufous-winged cisticola, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. [photo Hugh Chittenden ©]

 

Distribution and habitat

Near-endemic to southern Africa, occurring from southern Malawi to southern Mozambique and Kwazulu-Natal. Here it prefers reedbeds and other vegetation along rivers and lakes, water bodies within cultivated land and even very disturbed areas like weedy growth along canals.

Food 

It mainly eats invertebrates, doing most of its foraging in the undergrowth or along patches of floating Kariba weed (Salvinia molesta). The following food items have been recorded in its diet:

Breeding

  • The nest (see image below) is an oval or ball shape with a side entrance, built of dry grass but also living grass blades are woven into the outer shell. The interior is lined  by the female during incubation with plant down and grass inflorescences, while the exterior may be decorated with bark, cocoons and pieces of plant. It is typically placed in a marsh near the water surface, amongst grass or reeds up to about 1.2 metres above ground.
  • Egg-laying season is from September-February.
Cisticola galactotes (Rufous-winged cisticola, Black-backed cisticola)  

Rufous-winged cisticola, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. [photo Hugh Chittenden ©]

 
  • It lays 2-4 eggs, which are probably incubated for about 12-13 days.
  • The chicks are fed by both parents, leaving the nest after about 14-17 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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