Zitting Cisticolas of developed grasslands in Singapore

One of the feature of Singapore birding is that the places for birding are getting less and less, and those that pops up temporarily eventually will give way to development.

Many of the mini patches of grassland that pops up are usually prior cleared land that is left temporarily untouched. These have finite lifetime as the land clearing is for developmental purposes.

While the grass grows, birds come and make it their home. And one of the most easily seen and heard is the Zitting Cisticola (Cisticola juncidis). Although often overlooked, they are in fact interesting birds. Their name is derived from the ‘zit-zit-zit’ sound that they make in flight.

Zitting Cisticola
Location name: Tuas Grassland
Previously status: A motocross venue
Current status: Being developed into a train depot.
Last accessible: 2011
Remark: The cisticola is holding a piece of material for nest building.

Zitting Cisticola
Location Name: Jurong West St 22
Previously status: Secondary forest cleared for development
Current Status: Partially developed as a building for a transport company
Last accessible: 2012

Zitting Cisticola
Location Name: Changi Cove
Previously status: Reclaimed land
Current Status: Developing into new airport.
Last accessible: 2013

Zitting Cisticola
Location name: Pulau Punggol Barat
Previously status: Reclaimed land
Current Status: This place is leveled by the airport authority but future usage unknown.
Last accessible: 2014
Remark: A subadult by the prominent yellowish gape.

There are still many places in which the cisticolas are still abundant and they are in no current danger of disappearance. However, as each year goes by, more and more development have pushed them into ever more remote areas that are less accessible.

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