Goldenheaded cisticola

Cisticola exilis

SUBFAMILY

Sylviinae

TAXONOMY

Cisticola exilis Vigors and Horsfield, 1827. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Bright-headed cisticola, yellow-headed cisticola, tailor-bird, corn bird; French: Cisticole à couronne dorée; German: Goldkopg-Cistensanger; Spanish: Buitrón de Capa Dorada.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

3.9-4.3 in (10-11 cm). Small warbler, warm brown back, rufous nape, crown, breast and flanks, whitish throat and belly. Strong black streaking on back. Wings and tail short. Bill short, thin, and slightly decurved.

Cisticola juncidis I Resident | Breeding

Cisticola exilis I Resident

DISTRIBUTION

The only cisticola absent from Africa. Southern Asia, from India and China south through Phillipines, Malay Archipelago, and New Guinea, to Australia.

HABITAT

Tall, coarse, open grassland. Often in wet areas. BEHAVIOR

Usually solitary or in pairs. Scurries through dense grasses in a mouse-like manner. May form loose flocks in nonbreeding season. Male song, given during flight-display, is a nasal wheeze, followed by an explosive, liquid plook note.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Insectivorous. Forages on or near ground.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Polygynous. Males with shorter tails have increased reproductive success. Male flight-display consists of characteristic circular flight, singing and a high-speed vertical plummet. Nest is a small, rounded bag of grasses, plant down, and spider silk, attached to grasses or other vegetation. The female builds the nest, sometimes with help from the male, but incubates the 3-4 eggs herself.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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