Cisticolas, Grassbirds, Reed-warblers and Larks

The Acrocephalus Group of bird families include Larks (Alaudidae), Reed-warblers (Acrocephalidae), Grassbirds (Locustellidae) and Clsticolas (Cisticolidae) are part of Sylvioidea placed in Passeriformes, see Taxonomy note at end of this page. These are small to medium-sized birds that are mainly insectivorous, although some have a mixed diet that includes seeds. They occupy a variety of habits, although some families require specialised habitats, such as reed-warbles that prefer swamp or areas near water to feed.

Cisticolas, Grassbirds, Reed-warblers and Larks

Cisticola, Grassbird, Reed-warbler and Lark Notes

All featured species are ‘Red List 2019’ assessed as ‘Least Concern’. Cisticolas are small, mostly insectivorous birds that occupy a variety of habitats including woodland, grassland, and marshes. Grassbirds prefer grass and scrub habitat and feed mainly in invertebrates. I photographed both the insectivorous reed-warbler and the lark that feeds on seeds and insects in wetlands environments in Australasia.

Larks, Reed-warblers, Grassbirds and Cisticolas Taxonomy

The figure shows a simplified taxonomy family tree relevant to the Larks and Acrocephalus Group photo album.

J Boyd’s Taxonomy in Flux Checklist places these families in Sylvioidea, which comprises:
(a) Acrocephalus Group: Grassbirds (Locustellidae), Reed-warblers (Acrocephalidae), and Cisticolas (Cisticolidae).
(b) Larks (Alaudidae).

Sylvioidea includes families such as Larks (Alaudidae) moved from Passeroidea together with many existing families in the Sibley and Monroe and other authorities’ checklists.