Golden-headed Cisticola

Images ©:
©Bob Winters

Cisticola exilis


Small bird, up to 11 cm. Males have a paler chin and throat. Body is golden with black to dark grey streakes. Tail is black with paler tips, and is shorted during the breeding season. Females are similar to non-breeding males, with buff-brown upper parts heavily streaked black and dark brown. Underparts are cream with buff tints. Wings are black, and each feather edge is buff.


Details
Type
Bird
Group
Biology

Breeding season: September to March. Clutch size is three to four. They build a rounded nest with a side enterance near the top. Nest is made from fine grasses, plant down and spiders' webs. Leaves are usually stitched to the outer surface and the nest is lined with soft plant down. Both sexes make the nest. The female incubates the eggs.

Distinctive Markings

Males have a golden-orange head. When calling, its head is crested. Females have a golden-buff rump and nape of neck.

Taxonomy
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Aves
Order
Passeriformes
Species
exilis

Golden-headed Cisticola is known as the finest tailor of all the birds, often using stolen spiders' threads to stitch together its nest.


Interesting Facts
Diet

Omnivore. Feeds on insects and grass seeds.

Habitat

Found in sub-coastal areas, wetlands, wet grasslands, rivers and irrigated farmlands. It prefers tangled vegetation close to the ground.

Native Status
Native to Australia
Audio
Sounds
Metallic, fluid buzzing calls, soft peeping and harsh scolding alarm calls. In the breeding season the call is almost continuous.