Cisticola pipiens (Chirping cisticola) 

Piepende tinktinkie [Afrikaans]; Harudeve (generic term for cisticola or prinia) [Kwangali]; Moerasgraszanger [Dutch]; Cisticole pépiante [French]; Sumpfzistensänger [German]; Fuinha-chilreadora [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

Cisticola pipiens (Chirping cisticola)   

Chirping cisticola, Botswana. [photo Neil Gray ©]


Distribution and habitat

Endemic to south-central Africa, from southern DRC, Angola and Zambia to southern Africa, specifically northern Namibia and Botswana. Here it is locally common in waterlogged grassland or reedbeds, often in swamps and marshes or along rivers.


Little is known about its feeding habits, other than that it eats insects, especially grasshoppers (Orthoptera).


  • Both sexes build the nest, which is a ball with a side entrance constructed out of dry reeds or grass, reinforced and secured with spider web to the surrounding vegetation. It has a characteristic lip below the nest entrance, forming a kind of doormat. It is typically placed just above water or moist soil, in a dense tuft of reeds or grass, which it often incorporates into the nest.
  • Egg-laying season is from about October-April.
  • It lays 3-4 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for approximately 14 days.
  • Little is known about the development and care of the young, other than that they are fed by both parents.


Not threatened.


  • 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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