It is very similar in appearance to the zitting cisticola — however, in the breeding season males acquire a breeding plumage in which their head, throat and breast are a bright golden-orange colour, and their tails become shorter than in winter-plumage.
The species is found in rank vegetation in and around wetlands.
It is known as the finest tailor of the birds, often using spiders' threads to stitch together its nest.
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