Rock Thrushes

Short-toed Rock-thrush

Robins ... Laughing Thrushes ... Mountain Robin


The rock thrushes are medium-sized mostly insectivorous or omnivorous birds in the genus Monticola in the thrush family Turdidae. Three of the species are sometimes treated in a separate genus Pseudocossyphus.

All are Old World species associated with mountainous regions:

  • Forest Rock-thrush, Monticola (Pseudocossyphus) sharpei : The Forest Rock-thrush is endemic to Madagascar. They inhabit subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and moist montanes.

  • Benson's Rock-thrush, Monticola (Pseudocossyphus) bensoni : The Benson's Rock-thrush is endemic to Madagascar. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests and subtropical or tropical dry shrubland. The continued existence of this species is threatened by habitat destruction.

  • Littoral Rock-thrush, Monticola (Pseudocossyphus) imerinus : The Littoral Rock-thrush is endemic to Madagascar. Its natural habitats are dry savanna and subtropical or tropical dry shrubland.

  • Cape Rock Thrush, Monticola rupestris

  • Blue-headed Rock-thrush Sentinel Rock-thrush, Monticola explorator : The Sentinel Rock-thrush is found in Lesotho, South Africa, and Swaziland. This bird species inhabits subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland.

  • Short-toed Rock-thrush, Monticola brevipes : The Short-toed Rock-thrush is found in Angola, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. This bird species inhabits subtropical or tropical dry shrubland.

  • Miombo Rock-thrush, Monticola angolensis : The Miombo Rock-thrush is found in Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Its natural habitat is dry savanna.

  • Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush, Monticola saxatilis

  • Little Rock-thrush, Monticola rufocinereus : The Little Rock-thrush is found in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Yemen. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, dry savanna, and subtropical or tropical dry shrubland.

  • Blue-capped Rock-thrush, Monticola cinclorhynchus : The Blue-capped Rock-Thrush breeds in the foothills of the Himalayas and winters in the hill forests of southern India. The male is bright blue and black on the upperparts with a prominent white wing mirror. The underside is rufous brown. The female is dark olive and appears barred on the underside. Like other thrushes they fly up into trees and tend to freeze when disturbed. It is a summer visitor in parts of Afghanistan and along the Himalayas from Pakistan to Arunachal Pradesh. In summer it is found in pine forests and hill slopes. In winter it is found in dense canopied forests

  • White-throated Rock-thrush, Monticola gularis : The White-throated Rock-thrush is found in Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Russia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its natural habitat is temperate forests.

  • Chestnut-bellied Rock-thrush, Monticola rufiventris : The Chestnut-bellied Rock-thrush is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its natural habitat is temperate forests.

  • Blue Rock Thrush, Monticola solitarius

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