Zitting Cisticola catches a spider/grasshopper

posted in: Feeding-invertebrates | 5

We are showcasing the food preferences of the Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis), a rather small warbler of grassy areas. Although once plentiful in Singapore, it is still a common resident. It prefers open grassy areas and generally not found in parks and gardens.

The image above (left) is by Calvin Chang a.k.a. deswitch showing the cisticola with a spider in its bill, photographed in May 2009.

The other image (above right) by Walad Jamaludin shows the cisticola with a grasshopper.

Thee Zitting Cisticola eats mainly insects and small invertebrates including spiders. Spiders are one of the main foods for chicks, the more common ones being grasshoppers and caterpillars.

This post is a cooperative effort between NaturePixels.org and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.

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5 Responses

  1. […] This would be the same bird (or its mate) bringing back food to feed its hungry chicks that was posted earlier. Then, it was photographed bringing a spider and a grasshopper. The chicks have since […]

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  2. […] the start of our website, we have posted various accounts of birds catching spiders: Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis); Velvet-fronted Nuthatch (Sitta frontalis); and White-throated Kingfisher […]

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  3. […] the start of our website, we have posted various accounts of birds catching spiders: Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis); Velvet-fronted Nuthatch (Sitta frontalis); and White-throated Kingfisher […]

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  4. Two days ago I witnessed, shortly after mating, a Zitting cisticola (Cisticola juncidis) hang upside down from a grass stem, its partner hanging upside down whilst holding onto the first bird. In this way, the two birds stayed together motionless, to the point where I thought they might have died, for over 60 seconds. Any ideas anyone?

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    • It has been reported that “Some polygamous species have more protracted copulation, perhaps because males perch atop the female for longer in an attempt to maximize the chance of fertilisation” (Ryan et al., 2006, Handbook of the Birds of the World vol 11). What you saw may be part of this behaviour.

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