Black-backed Cisticola Cisticola eximius

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Identification

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A tiny, short-tailed, streaky cisticola. Note the rufous rump and variably rufous flanks. Breeding male has an unstreaked rufous crown. Female and non-breeding male have a paler brown crown with dark streaks. Found locally in short grassland, especially in seasonally flooded areas. Inconspicuous for most of the year. Usually seen when doing a flight display over its breeding habitat. Very similar to several other cisticolas, though usually distinguished by range. Zitting Cisticola overlaps widely in range, but Black-backed is separated by voice, richer overall coloration, and shorter tail. The song consists of a series of raspy “chree” notes, sometimes given along with wing snaps. Also gives explosive scolding notes and high-pitched whines.

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