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Short-toed Rock Thrush - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by nkgray
Hotazel, Northern Cape, South Africa
Monticola brevipes

Includes Pretoria (Transvaal) Rock-Thrush


Wing coverts are grey, the head is pale grey to white in most subspecies (less so in pretoriae), and the separation of grey throat from orange breast is neat and contrasty.

Similar species

Cape Rock Thrush is the main contender.


Angola, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa.


There are two subspecies:[1]

  • M. b. brevipes
  • M. b. pretoriae
  • Mountains of south-eastern Botswana to north-central and central South Africa.
  • Separated as Pretoria Rock-Thrush by some authorities;[2] this is supported by molecular, morphological and distributional evidence.[3]


Dry shrubland.



Feeds on insects, seeds & fruits. One time a small gecko was seen fed to nestlings.


Nest is a bulky cup of dry grass, stems and roots. It is lined with fine grass and hair and placed on the ground in a hollow.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F, M Wright and D Donsker. 2009. IOC World Bird Names (version 2.0). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  3. Outlaw, RK, G Voelker, DC Outlaw. 2007. Molecular systematics and historical biogeography of the rock-thrushes (Muscicapidae: Monticola). The Auk 124: 561-577. Available at findarticles.com
  4. Birdforum thread discussing ID of Short-toed Rock Thrush and especially subspecies pretoriae

Recommended Citation

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