Backyard Birds

Cape Rock-Thrush (Monticola rupestris)

The Cape Rock-Thrush (Monticola rupestris) occurs in eastern and southern South Africa.


This large stocky rock thrush measures 19-21 cm in length.

The summer (breeding) male has a blue-grey head, orange underparts and outer tail feathers, and brown wings and back.

Females have a brown head. The plumage below is a rich orange. The outer tail feathers are reddish.

Juveniles resemble the female, but can be identified by the buff spots on the upper plumage and the black scaling on the plumage below.

Breeding / Nesting:

The average clutch consists of 2-3 eggs placed in a cup nest typically situated in a rock cavity or on a ledge.

Diet / Feeding:

They feed on insects and other small animals. They may take berries.

Song / Call:

The male’s song is a whistled song tsee-tsee-tseet-chee-chweeeoo. They may mimic the sounds of other birds.


Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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