Saturday, 27 September 2014

Cape rock-thrush

Monticola rupestris

Photo by Derek Keats (Wikipedia)

Common name:
Cape rock-thrush (en); melro-das-rochas-do-Cabo (pt); monticole rocar (fr); roquero de El Cabo (es); klippenrötel (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Turdidae

This species is found in southern and eastern South Africa, including Lesotho and Swaziland, and marginally into south-eastern Botswana and south-western Mozambique.

These birds are 21-22 cm long and weigh 60-64 g.

The Cape rock-thrush is mostly found in cliffs, rocky valleys, boulder-strewn hillsides and scree slopes, especially with scattered trees, scrubs and succulents such as Aloe sp. and Euphorbia sp. They also use dry grasslands and scrublands, and rural gardens.

Diet:They feed mainly on arthropods, such as cockroaches, termites, beetles, ants, centipedes, millipedes and spiders, fruits and seeds. They are also known to take molluscs, frogs, skinks and the nectar of Aloe ferox.

Breeding:Cape rock-thrushes breed in September-February. They are monogamous, solitary nesters, and the nest is a messy platform built of twigs, grass, roots and soil, with a cup-shaped cavity set into the top. It is typically placed in a rock crevice or on the ledge of a cliff or building. There the female lays 2-4 eggs which she incubates alone for 14-16 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge about 16 days after hatching, becoming fully independent about 10 days later.


IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as locally common in South Africa and Swaziland, although also locally uncommon in South Africa and uncommon in Lesotho. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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