Bird Families

Red-tailed Cysticola / Cisticola rufilatus

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Latin name:Cisticola juncidis
English name:Fan-tailed warbler
Detachment:Passeriformes
Family:Sylvaceae (Sylviidae)
Body length, cm:10
Wingspan, cm:12–14,5
Body weight, g:7–13
Features:tail shape, flight pattern, voice, nest shape
Number, million pairs:1,2–10
Conservation status:BERNA 2, BONN 2
Habitat:Mediterranean look

A very small bird of rounded shape, with reddish plumage. The upper body and head are covered with brownish streaks, the bottom is monotonous whitish. Sides, chest and loins with ocher tinge. The tail is short and wide, with characteristic black and white spots on the underside. The beak is long, slightly curved, like that of a wren. The paws are pink, the toes are strong and tenacious. There is no sexual dimorphism.

Spread... The species is sedentary and nomadic, sometimes migratory. About 18 subspecies are found in Eurasia, Africa, Indonesia and Australia. The main European range does not extend north beyond 47 ° north latitude. The number of birds annually recorded in Italy is 100-300 thousand males. The number of northern populations fluctuates depending on the weather conditions in winter.

Habitat... Inhabits border areas of wetlands with high grass, overgrown wet ravines, wastelands, various types of cultural landscapes: grain and corn fields, meadows.

Biology... It nests among grass or in the lower part of bushes. Weaves a nest of an interesting shape in the form of a bag with a side entrance in the upper part. During the construction of the nest, the male weaves the nearby stems and leaves into it, and the female lines the nest from the inside with hairs and dry stems. From the end of March it lays 4–6 eggs of white or blue color, speckled or not. Mostly female incubates, 12-13 days. Chicks hatch 14–15 days after hatching. There are 2-3 clutches annually. It is difficult to identify a seated bird, but in flight it emits a characteristic song, consisting of repeated persistent, agitated and high-pitched sounds. The current flight over the nesting territory is represented by prolonged ups and downs. Insects and larvae serve as food, which cysticola searches for among plants or on the ground.

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