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Aves bird of the week - Cape Rock Thrush - Monticola rupestris

The Cape Rock Thrush - Monticola rupestris - is endemic to Southern Africa. The distribution coincides with the mountainous regions of South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. The preferred habitat is cliffs, rocky valleys, boulder-strewn hillsides with scattered trees, bushes and succulents.


The male has a blue-grey head, orange underparts and outer tail feathers. It has brown wings and back. Females have a brown head with orange underparts. The outer tail feathers are reddish. Immatures are like the female, but the upperparts have buff spots and the underparts show black scaling.


They have a whistled song tsee-tsee-tseet-chee-chweeeoo. They also mimic other birds.


Food consists mainly of insects. They also eat some fruit and seeds. Most foraging is on the ground within vegetation or between rocks..


This species breeds in mountainous rocky areas with scattered vegetation. The breeding season is from September to February. They solitary nesters, with the male vigorously defending his territory. The nest is a messy platform built of twigs, grass, roots and soil, placed in a rock crevice or on the ledge of a cliff . The female lays 2 to 3 eggs, which are mainly incubated by the female for between 14 to 16 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and are fully independent about 26 days later.

Conservation Status – Least concern

This species has a very large range and the population appears to be stable.


Ask Aves Birding Tours/Safaris/Adventures to create a custom tour for you to see these striking birds or join one of the following Aves Birding Tours/Safaris/Adventures: -

Aves Eastern Cape Birding Tour / Safari /Adventure.

Aves Highlands / Tembe Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves KZN Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves North East Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves North West Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves Western Cape Birding Tour / Safari / Adventure.

Aves West Coast Birding Tour / Safari /Adventure.




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