About the Author

James Tyrrell


James had hardly touched a camera when he came to Londolozi, but his writing skills that complemented his Honours degree in Zoology meant that he was quickly snapped up by the Londolozi blog team. An environment rich in photographers helped him develop the ...

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on What Bird is This? #24

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Wendy Hawkins
Senior Digital Ranger

Zitting Cisticola??

Valerie Grosset

Is this a cuckoo?

Marinda Drake
Master Tracker

I am actually not very good identifying the smaller birds. It looks like a croaking cisticola.

Joan Schmiidt
Master Tracker

James, is it Richard’s Pipit?

Alex McMillan
Senior Digital Ranger

Zitting cisticola?

Grant Scott

My bird skills are dodgy at the best of times, but I think this may be one of the Larks…maybe fawn-coloured lark given the absence of streaking on the chest?…if not I’d go with LBJ 😉

Wynn Derr

Southern masked weaver female?

Ian Maclarty
Guest contributor

Hi James, I am by no means sure but visually it looks like one of the short-tailed Cisticolas, with Zitting being the most likely suspect. However as far as I can see from the picture the bird is carrying nesting material rather than food and as their breeding season ends mostly in March that does not make sense. Also it is a short grass species, though it looks like it was disturbed and flew up to a perch with visibility. Zitting Cisticola ticks more boxes than anything else I tried so I am going to go with that and assume he was a late starter on the breeding front.

Ann Richardson Berg
Digital Tracker

Hello James! I think it is an African Pipit.
This is a fun way to learn more about birds!

Greg Seymour

Red faced cisticola

Wendy Macnicol
Digital Tracker

I am no bird expert AT ALL. It looks like a Sparrow! I can almost hear the groans from here! Wendy M

Patsy Crisp
Digital Ranger


Nicole Bernhardt
Senior Digital Ranger

My guess is a Pipet, possibly Buffy (adult)

Mary Williams
Digital Ranger

Rattling Cisticola

Denise Vouri
Guest contributor

Well, after time spent on Google, I think it’s a Zitting Cisticola. The photo posted even showed the same nest material in its beak.

I think it’s a Rattling Cisticola….because of the dark brown spots underneath the tail. Underparts are pale, legs appear pinkish in yr pic. The material in its mouth is confusing because the breeding should be completed BUT maybe that is a larvae in its mouth.

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

Could be rattling or zitting cisticola, I’m not sure.

Callum Evans
Guest contributor

Upon review, it’s most likely a zitting cisticola, though wing-snapping is also a possibility.

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