Levaillant’s Cisticola

Cisticola tinniens

Cisitolas are a constant source of debate when it comes to identifying them correctly, and the more detail you have in your photographs (and the clearer your song recordings) the more chance you have of success. In the case of Levaillant’s you need to look out for its diagnostic rufous tail, streaked rump and its unique song. It also helps to pay attention to where you are in the country (as these guys spend their time in wetland habitats and their range only overlaps slightly with rufous-winged cisticola, which has a grayish (not rufous) tail).

We first recorded this common, water-loving cisticola in March 2010 while birding the Wakkerstroom area in Mpumulanga.


Levaillant’s Cisticola / Rietvlei Nature Reserve, South Africa / 08 June 2013 Levaillant’s Cisticola / Devon Farmlands, Gauteng, South Africa / 14 March 2015 Laveillant’s Cisticola / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South Africa Levaillant’s Cisticola / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South-Africa / 22-November 2014 Laveillant’s Cisticola / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South Africa Levaillant’s Cisticola (juvenile) / Karkloof Nature Reserve, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa / April 2017 Levaillant’s Cisticola / Rietvlei Nature Reserve, Gauteng, South Africa / December 2018 Levaillant’s Cisticola / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, Gauteng, South Africa Levaillant’s Cisticola / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, South-Africa / 22-November 2014 Levaillant’s Cisticola / Rietvlei Nature Reserve, Gauteng, South Africa / December 2018 Levaillant’s Cisticola (Tinniens) – juvenile / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa / 08 January 2011 Levaillant’s Cisticola / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, Gauteng, South Africa Levaillant’s Cisticola / Rietvlei Nature Reserve, South Africa / 08 June 2013 Levaillant’s Cisticola / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, Gauteng, South Africa Levaillant’s Cisticola (Tinniens) / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa / 28 January 2012 Levaillant’s Cisticola / Rietvlei Nature Reserve, Gauteng, South Africa / December 2018 Levaillant’s Cisticola / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, Gauteng, South Africa Levaillant’s Cisticola / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, South Africa / 22 September 2013 Levaillant’s Cisticola / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, Gauteng, South Africa Levaillant’s Cisticola / Rietvlei Nature Reserve, South Africa / 08 June 2013 Levaillant’s Cisticola (Tinniens) / Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve, South Africa / 04 July 2010 Levaillant’s Cisticola / Marievale Bird Sanctuary, Nigel, Gauteng, South Africa Levaillant’s Cisticola / Devon farmlands, South Africa / 14 March 2015
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