Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Boulder Chat (Pinarornis plumosus)


French: Rochassier des éboulis German: Springschmätzer Spanish: Zorzal roquero

Pinarornis plumosus


, 1876,

Victoria Falls; error = Matobo Hills, Matabeleland, Zimbabwe




Locally E Zambia, W Malawi, Zimbabwe, E Botswana, and W & C Mozambique (Tete district).

Descriptive notes

23–27 cm; 66 g. Plumage is dark brownish-grey above, becoming blackish below, chin and throat finely tipped whitish, crissum faintly scaled whitish; white tips of tail... read more


Song a medley of high, thin, sweet notes, reminiscent of that of Erithacus rubecula. Call... read more


Restricted to outcropping granitic hills with some tree canopy; occurs on lower slopes with large... read more

Food and feeding

Insects and small lizards, which are gleaned from leaves and bark; also hawks flying termites (Isoptera) using aerial sallies.


Nov in Malawi, Dec in Zambia and Jan in Botswana; Sept–Jan (peak Oct–Nov) in Zimbabwe. Nest a sparse, neat unlined cup of loose... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Generally frequent to common within its restricted but essentially secure habitat; breeding density of 1·2 pairs/km² recorded in Matobo Hills, in... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. (2020). Boulder Chat (Pinarornis plumosus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 28 February 2020).