Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Cape Rock-thrush (Monticola rupestris)


French: Monticole rocar German: Klippenrötel Spanish: Roquero de El Cabo

Turdus rupestris


, 1818,

Table Mountain, near Cape Town, South Africa




South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland. Occurrence in extreme SW Mozambique uncertain#R.

Descriptive notes

21–22 cm; 60–64 g. Male has head and throat grey-blue, clear-cut against dull orange-brown underparts, orange continuing on to rump and outer tail and as narrow... read more


Song, by both sexes, a short series of short phrases (2–5 seconds long, with intervals of 1... read more


Relatively mesic mountainous terrain, mainly rocky mountain slopes, screes, cliffs, gorges,... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, spiders, millipedes, centipedes, molluscs, small frogs, fruits (including olives), seeds and nectar. Stomachs of six birds from... read more


Sept–Feb, earliest peak (Sept–Nov) in W, in South Africa; sometimes double-brooded. Nest bulky, made of coarse grass on... read more


Mainly sedentary; some local altitudinal movements from supalpine zone of Lesotho and Drakensberg... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common from Cape Town E to Swaziland and N Northern Province of South Africa. Uncommon E of 31º E and in Lesotho, where some habitat may have... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. (2019). Cape Rock-thrush (Monticola rupestris). 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 18 September 2019).