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The Ultimate LBJ

By: Bart Wursten

Short-winged-Cisticola-1-GN_croppedA soft repetitive song, sounding a bit like mis-sis-sippi-ippi rises from the tall grass around Chitengo and on the lower slopes of Mt Gorongosa. It is the call of a tiny bird called the Short-winged Cisticola or Cisticola brachyptera, which, by the way, means short-winged cisticola, so common sense prevails even in scientific name giving, sometimes at least. 

Short-winged-Cisticola-1-GN_compressedThe little thing may well deserve the title of the ultimate little-brown-job or “LBJ”. Compared to its cisticola cousins or to other notorious competitors such as pipits and larks, it is probably the smallest, least conspicuously marked and most drably coloured of the lot. The non-birder may well shake his or her head upon hearing that, despite this rather undistinguished reputation it is much sought after by birders from all over the world. This is mainly due to the fact this localized and uncommon bird is considered a near-endemic resident to the Central Mozambique coastal plain, only just entering the lower parts of Eastern Zimbabwe.

Obviously among birders quality knows no size or colour.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 12, 2007 3:39 PM.

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