Wailing Cisticola ( Cisticola lais, family: Cisticolidae)

The Wailing Cisticola (Latin name Cisticola lais) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 670 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 830 also a picture of the Wailing Cisticola on page 912. The Wailing Cisticola belongs to the family of birds classified as Cisticolidae.

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

In terms of distribution of the Wailing Cisticola in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Wailing 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 Wailing Cisticola is a small bird about the size of a house sparrow. Do not take this relative indicator as anything other than a rough easy to remember indicator. It is not a accurate visualization. The height of the Wailing Cisticola is about 14 cms and its weight is about 15 gms

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

  • Head is brown.
  • Eye is red.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is brown.
  • Legs are blue, pink.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Wailing Cisticola feeds on the ground and in foliage mainly


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

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

The nesting habit of Wailing Cisticola is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub. The bird lays eggs which are red, brown in colour and number between 2 to 4

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Wailing Cisticola are: grasslands . The Wailing Cisticola is also at home in wetland and bushveld areas.

You can expect to see Wailing Cisticola in flocks, or pairs or as single birds.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Iqobo / Igqobo

Zulu ... uQoyi

Afrikaans ...Huiltinktinkie

German ... Trauerzistensnger

Portuguese ... Fuinha-chorona

French ... Cisticole plaintive

Dutch ... Jammergraszanger

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

Robert's 7th edition number ... 670

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 , www.fitzpatrick.uct.ac.za