Desert Cisticola ( Cisticola aridulus, family: Cisticolidae)

desert cisticola kruger national park birds The Desert Cisticola (Latin name Cisticola aridulus) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 665 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 839 also a picture of the Desert Cisticola on page 912. The Desert Cisticola belongs to the family of birds classified as Cisticolidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Desert Cisticola is also known by these other names: Desert Fan-tail Warbler, Swift Cisticola.

The Robert's 7 Latin name for Egyptian Goose has changed from Alopochen aegyptiacus in Robert's 6 to Alopochen aegyptiaca

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Desert Cisticola is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park.

In terms of distribution of the Desert Cisticola in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Desert Cisticola : see above distribution map.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The Desert Cisticola is an extremely small bird about half the size of a house sparrow. The height of the Desert Cisticola is about 12 cms and its weight is about 9 gms

The male and female Desert Cisticola have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is black.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is white, grey.
  • Back is black.
  • Legs are purple.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Desert Cisticola feeds on the ground mainly


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Desert Cisticola is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Cisticola aridulus will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Desert Cisticola is to create the nest on the ground. The bird lays eggs which are blue in colour and number between 2 to 5

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Desert Cisticola are: woodlands and grasslands

You will not see Desert Cisticola in flocks. The bird prefers to act singly or in pairs.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Woestynklopkloppie

German ... Kalahari-Zistensnger

Portuguese ... Fuinha-do-deserto

French ... Cisticole du dsert

Dutch ... Kalahari-Graszanger

First bird in list | Previous bird viewed | Next KNP bird | Last bird in list

For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 665

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,