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26

Golden-headed Cisticola

(Cisticola exilis)
Alternate name(s): "Golden Cisticola", "Golden-headed Fantail Warbler", "Tailorbird", "Barleybird", "Cornbird"
Size: 9-11 cm
Weight: 6-11 g

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Golden-headed Cisticola at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "exilis"

ADULT

MALE

BREEDING

Frontal view of a male Golden-headed Cisticola in breeding plumage
[Goran Lake, NSW, October 2011]

Frontal view of a male Golden-headed Cisticola in breeding plumage marking his territory (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Cooloola NP, QLD, December 2017]

Frontal view of a male Golden-headed Cisticola in breeding plumage marking his territory
[Hunter Wetlands NP, Newcastle, NSW, December 2016]

Near-lateral view of a male Golden-headed Cisticola in breeding plumage found in dense road side vegetation; click on image to also see its partner
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2013]

Lateral view of a male Golden-headed Cisticola in breeding plumage marking his territory (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Cooloola NP, QLD, December 2017]

Lateral view of a male Golden-headed Cisticola in breeding plumage marking his territory (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Cooloola NP, QLD, December 2017]

Lateral view of a male Golden-headed Cisticola in breeding plumage; the bird was observed launching itself from this vantage point into a display flight (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[The Spit, Gold Coast, QLD, May 2014]

Dorsal view of a male Golden-headed Cisticola in breeding plumage; it is marking its territory (in a reed-lined swamp) from an overhead power line
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, January 2009]

NON-BREEDING

Sex unknown

Frontal view of a Golden-headed Cisticola in non-breeding plumage; this photo shows the erectile crest; note also the typical pattern on the undertail
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, August 2016]

Near-frontal view of a Golden-headed Cisticola in non-breeding plumage
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, July 2014]

Near-frontal view of a Golden-headed Cisticola in non-breeding plumage
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, August 2016]

Near-frontal view of a Golden-headed Cisticola in non-breeding plumage issuing its "bzzt-bzzzt" warning call
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, August 2016]

Near-lateral view of a Golden-headed Cisticola in non-breeding plumage
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, June 2016]

Lateral view of a Golden-headed Cisticola in non-breeding plumage
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, July 2014]

Lateral view of a Golden-headed Cisticola in non-breeding plumage
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, June 2016]

Lateral view of a male Golden-headed Cisticola in non-breeding plumage; the bird was observed launching itself from this vantage point into a display flight (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[The Spit, Gold Coast, QLD, August 2015]

Near-dorsal view of a Golden-headed Cisticola in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Oxley Common, Brisbane, QLD, August 2017]

Close-up dorsal view of a Golden-headed Cisticola in non-breeding plumage
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, August 2016]

Golden-headed Cisticola scrambling out of tall grass, where is has been feeding on the ground, between the tussocks
[Eulah Creek, NSW, May 2013]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Frontal view of a juvenile Golden-headed Cisticola
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, March 2013]

Frontal view of a juvenile Golden-headed Cisticola
[Old Quipolly Dam, near Quirindi, NSW, February 2018]

Frontal view of a juvenile Golden-headed Cisticola
[Goran Lake, NSW, April 2012]

Golden-headed Cisticola glimpsing out of dense reeds to check whether all is safe
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, March 2013]

Near-lateral view of a juvenile Golden-headed Cisticola
[Goran Lake, NSW, April 2012]

Lateral view of a juvenile Golden-headed Cisticola
[Old Quipolly Dam, near Quirindi, NSW, February 2018]

Lateral view of a juvenile Golden-headed Cisticola with its head turned
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, March 2016]

Lateral view of a juvenile Golden-headed Cisticola
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, February 2013]

Dorsal view of a juvenile Golden-headed Cisticola
[Goran Lake, NSW, April 2012]

Immature Golden-headed Cisticola launching itself into the air
[Goran Lake, NSW, April 2012]

Two slightly different views of a juvenile Golden-headed Cisticola
[Narrabri Lake, NSW, February 2009]

Race "alexandrae"

ADULT

NON-BREEDING

Sex unknown

Distant frontal view of a Golden-headed Cisticola in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[The Granites Gold Mine, inland NT, August 2015]

Lateral view of a Golden-headed Cisticola in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[The Granites Gold Mine, inland NT, August 2015]

Race "lineocapilla"

ADULT

MALE

BREEDING

Near-lateral view of a male Golden-headed Cisticola in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Darwin, NT, January 2018]

Lateral view of a male Golden-headed Cisticola in breeding plumage issuing its call - this is the bird whose calls were recorded on 13 Jan. 2018 (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Darwin, NT, January 2018]

Ventral view of a male Golden-headed Cisticola in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Darwin, NT, January 2018]

"Jumping Jack Flash" - male Golden-headed Cisticola in breeding plumage (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Darwin, NT, January 2018]

NON-BREEDING

Near-lateral/ventral view of a Golden-headed Cisticola on a high perch; based on its behaviour, this bird is probably a male (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Roseberry, Darwin, NT, May 2018]

Near-lateral/ventral view of a Golden-headed Cisticola on a high perch, slightly different posture; based on its behaviour, this bird is probably a male (photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Roseberry, Darwin, NT, May 2018]

Lateral/ventral view of a Golden-headed Cisticola on a high perch; based on its behaviour, this bird is probably a male
(photo courtesy of P. Brown)
[Roseberry, Darwin, NT, May 2018]

Sex unknown

Near-dorsal view of a Golden-headed Cisticola in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Wurrumiyanga, Bathurst Island, NT, September 2016]

Dorsal view of a Golden-headed Cisticola in non-breeding plumage (photo courtesy of J. Greaves)
[Wurrumiyanga, Bathurst Island, NT, September 2016]

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Territorial Mobility: Sedentary Elementary unit: Pair

Golden-headed Cisticola on a road side fence
[Eulah Creek, NSW, December 2013]

Food, Diet

Golden-headed Cisticolas feed on insects and spiders.

Golden-headed Cisticola eyeing a spider's web, either to collect nesting material or to have a meal, or both
(photo courtesy of M. Eaton)
[Gatton, QLD, December 2017]

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

gldcist_art_20131231.m4a exilis
(SE QLD)
Contact calls © ART
gldcist_20150327.mp3 exilis
(NE NSW)
Contact calls © MD
gldcist_20140523_2.mp3 exilis
(SE QLD)
Various © MD
gldcist_20161208.mp3 exilis
(E NSW)
Territorial calls (male) © MD
gldcist_20151113_4.mp3 exilis
(NW NSW)
Various (with juveniles?) © MD
gldcist_20151113_6.mp3 exilis
(NW NSW)
Various (with juveniles?) © MD
gldcist_20151113_3.mp3 exilis
(NW NSW)
? © MD
gldcist_20151113_7.mp3 exilis
(NW NSW)
? © MD
gldcist_20151113.mp3 exilis
(NW NSW)
? © MD
gldcist_20160331.mp3 exilis
(NW NSW)
? © MD
 
gldcist_pb_20180113_1.m4a lineocapilla
(Darwin, NT)
Territorial calls (male) © PB
gldcist_pb_20180113_2.m4a lineocapilla
(Darwin, NT)
Territorial calls (male) © PB

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

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