The oldest Levaillant’s Cisticola ever recorded

08 Nov 2010 Posted by in Environment | 1 comment

Breaking news for the Friends group – the oldest Le Vaillant’s Cisticola ever recorded; rung at Rondevlei in the monthly sessions. People can see the full story below.

On 9 October 2010 Levaillant’s Cisticola (Cisticola tinniens), ring number GA70176 was recaptured at Rondevlei Nature Reserve in Cape Town. Calvin Gibbs, an enthusiastic ringing trainee, measured the tiny bird (mass about 10g). This is a commonly caught species at Rondevlei so it did not elicit an unusual amount of interest, especially since a stunning Malachite Kingfisher had been caught earlier on.

This individual cisticola had been ringed as an adult at Rondevlei on 8 February 2003 by Mike Ford, and has been recaptured several times at Rondevlei (see here). The elapsed time between ringing and last recapture was 2800 days (7 years 8 months). This turns out to be the oldest Levaillant’s Cisticola in SAFRINGs database.

There is monthly ringing at Rondevlei (see photos here) to demonstrate bird ringing to the general public. This ringing has been on-going for many years, and often in a morning there are as many recaptures as un-ringed birds! This suggests a high site fidelity for birds at Rondevlei. Hopefully Levaillant’s Cisticola GA70176 will be captured again in the future to beat it’s own longevity record!

See the latest news item at The cisticola was ringed by Mike and retrapped by Calvin, at Rondevlei.

  1. Heather11-09-10

    The bird is so small & doesn’t look older than a year:) this is an amazing story.

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