Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis)
(aka Fan-tailed Cisticola, Fan-tailed Warbler)
Zitting Cisticola, Ebro Delta, Spain, November 2001 - click for larger image Ebro Delta, Spain
November 2001

The Zitting Cisticola is found in Europe along the Atlantic coasts of France, Spain and Portugal and around the Mediterranean Basin. It is also found in Africa, Asia and Australia. It likes areas of tall grass, marshland and some agricultural crops such as sugar-cane and cereals.

While it is a warbler, it is the only member of this mainly tropical genus Cisticola to be found in Europe.

Zitting Cisticola, Ebro Delta, Spain, November 2001 - click for larger image The crown and upperparts are brown with bold black streaks against which the sides of the head look quite plain. The underparts are buffy white and, while it is not mentioned specifically in the literature, this bird at least has a fairly prominent white chin.

The English name Zitting derives from the tzeep sound which it repeats rhythmically while on its bounding song flight. The tzeep is uttered at the apex of each undulation. The alternative English name Fan-tailed derives from the way the bird fans out its tail when in flight which shows of the white-tipped tail feathers.

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