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Zitting Cisticola

Zitting Cisticola
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5136 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2012-02-28
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D300, Sigma 135-400mm f/4.5-5.6 APO, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/320 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-03-30 7:25
Viewed: 2443
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Zitting Cisticola or Streaked Fantail Warbler (Cisticola juncidis), is widely distributed Old World warbler whose breeding range includes southern Europe, Africa outside the deserts and rainforest, and southern Asia down to northern Australia. A small bird found mainly in grasslands, it is best identified by its rufous rump, lacks any gold on the collar and the brownish tail is tipped with white. During the breeding season, males have a zizagging flight display accompanied by regular "zitting" calls that has been likened to repeated snips of a scissor. They build their pouch nest suspended within a clump of grass.

The Zitting Cisticola is brown above, heavily streaked with black markings. The underparts are whitish, and the tail is broad, white-tipped and flicked frequently, giving rise to the alternative name for the species. The adult males have less crown streaking and more back marking than the females, but there are no great difference between the sexes or the eighteen geographical races. The absence of a nuchal collar separate it from Cisticola exilis. In the non-breeding season, they tend to skulk within the grass and can be hard to spot.

Taxonomy and systematics
Across their wide distribution range, several variations in populations have been noted and as many as 18 subspecies are recognized. They differ slightly in calls, plumage and size and some have been considered full species in some taxonomic treatments.

The nominate form is found in southern France, Greece, Turkey, Sicily, Corsica and Egypt while western Portugal and Spain have cisticola. The population in Israel, Syria, Iraq and Iran is neuroticus while the northern and eastern African population is uropygialis and perennius (further south). Gabon, Angola, southern Africa are home to terrestris. The population in the Western Ghats of India, salimalii does not show seasonal tail length variation as in cursitans of the plains of India and dry-zone of Sri Lanak which has a longer tail in the non-breeding season. Population malaya is found in southern Southeast Asia, tinnabulans further north in southern China while brunniceps is found in Korea and Japan. Other populations include nigrostriatus (Philippines), constans (Sulawesi), fuscicapilla (east Java), leanyeri (northern Australia), normani (northwest Queensland) and laveryi (northeast Australia).
This genus is sometimes split off with various other southern warbler genera and given family status as the Cisticolidae. This species was previously known as Fan-tailed Warbler, but the current name gives consistency with the many tropical cisticola species, and avoid confusion with an American species also named Fan-tailed Warbler.

Habitat and distribution
This species is found mainly in grassland habitats, often near water. Most populations are resident, but some East Asian populations migrate south to warmer areas in winter. In the Himalayas, they ascent to about 1,900 metres (6,200 ft) during summer but are below 1,300 metres (4,300 ft) in the winter. This species is a rare vagrant to northern Europe, mostly as a spring overshoot. Its European range is generally expanding, although northern populations are especially susceptible to hard winters.

Behaviour and ecology
Zitting Cisticolas are very small insectivorous birds, sometimes found in small groups. The breeding season is associated with the rains. Two broods a year occur in many regions. Males are polygynous but some are monogamous the male builds the initial nest structure deep in the grasses, and invites females using a special display. Females that accept the male complete the nest. The nest is made by binding living leaves into the soft fabric of felted plant-down, cobwebs, and grass. The Zitting Cisticola's nest is a cup shape with a canopy of tied-together leaves or grasses overhead for camouflage; 3-6 eggs are laid. The female incubates the egg. The eggs hatch after about 10 days. More than one brood may be raised. Females change their mates frequently and rarely stay within the same territory, while males are less mobile. Females can sometimes breed in their first year.

Source: Wikipedia

ramthakur, Hussain58, maaciejka, Marco2010, jusninasirun, anel, Pitoncle, Alex99, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

There is something sunny and cheerful about this image, Peter.
The bird perched on a slim stick against the deep blue sky does it, I guess.
This is my first view of a Fantail Warbler.
Well done and TFS!

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6479 W: 89 N: 15611] (65309)
  • [2012-03-30 8:06]

Hi Peter,how is nice this simply composition whit all this blue in background! Spectacular sharpness and focus on this little friend,very professional light balance and colors too.Have a nice weekend and thanks,Luciano

hallo Peter
Mooie compositie met een mooie achtergrond zodat je de vogel goed kan zie
de kleuren zijn prachtig
groet lou

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2012-03-30 8:36]

Hello Peter.
Very, very nice. The composition is very strong with the bird clinging to the angled branch. The details and colours are great too. Thanks for posting.Best regards Siggi

Hello Peter,

A finely exposed photo of a passerine bird. Nice pose with eye contact.


Hello Peter
Very interesting riewpoint and beautiful image,perfect focus and antstanding natural colors.
Have a nice weekend!

hello Peter,
Hope you are well. This is a wonderful shot of this Streaked Fantail Warbler under an amazing blue sky. The sky really has enhanced the image of this bird.It is a dainty little thing. I have not seen this bird before.Even that lone russet leaf looks very good.Thanks a lot for sharing a classic shot....take care....warmest regards/Abid.

Hi Peter,
nice point of view. Great beackground. Interesting composition.
Have a nice weekend,

Ciao Peter. Good light and colours. Excellent contrast. Lovely compo.


Ciao Peter, great capture ol lovely bird in nice pose on a beautiful blue sky, fine details, splendid sharpness and wonderful natural colors, very well done, my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

Ciao Peter.
Molto graziosa questa cisticola, con colori naturali e un’ottima nitidezza,bella la composizione,bravo
Ciao Marco.
Grazie della condivisione.

Hello Peter.
Stunning minimalist shot against the spotless blue sky. The dorsal pov and plumage details are so vivid with a single leaf on the twig.
Have a wonderful blue sky weekend.

Hello Peter
Beautiful photo with excellent composition and nice colours.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2012-03-31 2:32]

Hello Peter,
A cute little bird which I never have seen until now. A sunny picture with the beautiful Portugese blue sky. For me the very generous framing could have been slightly reduced. I wish you a nice and sunny weekend

Bonjour Peter,
Agréable publication valorisant relativement bien le sujet par son opposition sur l'arrière plan.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

Hi Peter,
great capture, cute bird under nice light,
great colors and pose captured,

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 821 W: 0 N: 2415] (10648)
  • [2012-04-02 3:13]

Hallo Peter,
Looks very cute ..
Great sharpness, details and composition.
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2012-04-02 4:01]

Hi Peter.
What a funny and very cute small bird is pictured at a simple and so impressive scene. Its feathers on the head and glance are touching. I also like nice sunny colours and composition of the image. My kind regards and TFS.

Hello Peter

I have missed this photo, i love to see it small
and with a lot of free space in front like on
this photo, the light is wonderful, beautiful catch-light
that always enhance a photo, excellent focus
sharpness and details, TFS


this is a wonderful capture for this small bird, congratulations Peter !

have a nice evening,

ciao, tino

Hello Peter.
Probably this Streaked Fantail Warbler is not available at our area.
very nice picture with good composition.
nice blue sky.
great colour and sharpness,
best wishes,

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