Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis)

A ubiquitous species throughout Portugal. Absolutely tiny and flies with a rapid wing-beat before dropping quickly into any patch of grass and disappearing.

A streaky head and down-curved bill are diagnostic features, which, along with its size and habitat are usually enough for an id. Relatively fearless and on occasion inquisitive - I have had a whole family attempt to get in the car with me before now. Can sometimes appear angry, though this is more from appearance than behaviour. During the Spring and early summer the male Zitting Cisticola stakes out the boundaries of his territory by an undulating flight around it, with, at the top of each undulation, a repeated "Tziit". Thus, at any open grassy area throughout the country one is met by "Tziit, tziit, tziit, tziit, tziit, tziit".

Birding in Portugal

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