Backyard Birds

Rufous Bush Robins aka Rufous-tailed Scrub Robins or Rufous Bush Chats

The Rufous Bush Robin (Cercotrichas galactotes), also called the Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin or Rufous Bush Chat, is a small member of the flycatchers.


Distribution / Range

It breeds around the Mediterranean and east to Pakistan. It is partially migratory, wintering in East Africa and India. This is a very rare visitor to northern Europe.

This is a bird of dry open country with bushes and shrubs.

Nesting / Breeding

It builds its nest in a bush; three to five eggs is a typical clutch.


Rufous Bush Robin is larger than European Robin. It has brown upperparts whitish underparts and a prominent whitish eyestripe. The western race has a paler, warmer brown back than birds in southeast Europe and Asia.

The long rufous tail is frequently fanned, showing the black and white tips of the tail feathers. All plumages are similar.

Diet / Feeding

These birds feed on insects mostly caught on the ground.

Calls / Vocalization

The clear thrush-like song has a sad tone.


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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