Graeme Chapman - natural history photographer - ornithologist

Australian Birds

Zitting Cisticola
Cisticola juncidis
(Viewing 4 of 4 photos)

The Zitting Cisticola has a very limited distribution in Australia in coastal saline grasslands in central Queensland, around the gulf and top end and parts of the Kimberley division in W.A. It has a wide distribution elsewhere - to SE ASia, India, Africa and southern Europe.

In non-breeding plumage Zitting Cisticolas are very difficult to distinguish from the more widespread Golden-headed Cisticola except by their very different songs and different habitat preferences - shorter grassland or sedges for the Zitting and taller more dense, even shrubby grassland for the Golden-headed.

Zitting Cisticolas are regarded as sedentary and occur mainly as pairs in permanent territories. Breeding begins after the first rains of the wet season, usually in November. Then the males indulge in conspicuous display flights where they ascend as high as 30 metres or so and circle around up there for up to a minute, all the time repeating their lik-lik calls which have been likened to the sound of clicking two coins together.

Photo: 969021

969021 ... Zitting Cisticola.

Photo: 969202

969202 ... Zitting Cisticola

Photo: 969203

969203 ... Zitting Cisticola

Photo: 969204-D

969204-D ... Coastal marine couch habitat N of Yeppoon, Queensland.

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