cisticolas breeding

To: Bill & Raelene <>, "" <>
Subject: cisticolas breeding
From: John Harris <>
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2014 05:47:51 +0000
You raise an interesting question which perhaps some of our learned COG
colleagues may be able to clarify.
What constitutes display (‘di’) for the purpose of COG reporting?
Does the female have to be visible for it to count?

On 24/01/2014 4:01 pm, "Bill & Raelene" <>

>Yes. What you say is as I had expected. I have seen what you describe as
>display at the wetland in Forde but did not report it as I was unsure.
>It may be too late this season, but I will keep an eye out for it.
>many thanks, Bill Graham
>On 24/01/2014 3:45 PM, John Harris wrote:
>> Yes cisticolas are under-reported and not just in the breeding season.
>> They are a wet grassland bird and exceptionally wary and unobtrusive
>> outside breeding season when the male calls constantly from the tops of
>> reeds and grasses. They are also dull coloured like dry grass except in
>> the breeding season. I reported them breeding here this spring.
>> I am fortunate to back onto the grasses and reeds which border
>> Creek and I have been watching them for years. For 8 or 9 months of the
>> year you have to be very patient to see or hear one at all but they are
>> there. If observers don¹t choose to go and patiently wait in wet
>> grassland, they won¹t ever see them at all, let alone when breeding.
>> If the male in breeding plumage screeching from the top of a grass stalk
>> counts as display, then Geoffrey Dabb came here with me in Spring and
>> a very good photo. If you troll back through the COG chatline you can
>> it - no don¹t bother, the link is
>> 00438.html.
>> Cheers
>> John
>> On 24/01/2014 8:39 am, "Bill & Raelene" <>
>> wrote:
>>> The records  for cisticolas breeding for the last 30 years seem to
>>> indicate undereporting/ under reporting/underreporting. How is it that
>>> so many experienced birders are missing them? I think I have seen
>>> display but am not sure. Are there any photos of display? What can
>>> account for this deficit?
>>> Bill Graham
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