Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Golden-headed Cisticola
Cisticola exilis
(Viewing 4 of 10 photos)

Click to listen to sound sample Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Golden-headed Cisticola is its habit of sewing leaves together with cobweb to form (and conceal) its nest. This has earnt it the alternative common name of Tailorbird. Golden-headed refers only to the summer breeding plumage of the male - in winter he adopts a streaked crown and then closely resembles a female.

Golden-headed Cisticolas live in dense, often swampy grassland in coastal and subcoastal eastern and northern Australia but they also occur as far away as China and India. In winter they blend well into their grassy surroundings, but in summer the males indulge in noisy displays, both from high perches or up into the air. Their flight is weak and they are not known to migrate but perhaps congregate outside the breeding season at richer food sources.

Photo: 525001

525001 ... Golden-headed Cisticola, female at nest. Note streaked crown.

Photo: 525203

525203 ... Golden-headed Cisticola

Photo: 525206

525206 ... Golden-headed Cisticila, male in breeding plumage.

Photo: 525207-D

525207-D ... Male in breeding plumage

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