Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Little Rock-thrush (Monticola rufocinereus)


French: Monticole rougequeue German: Schluchtenrötel Spanish: Roquero chico

Saxicola rufocinerea


, 1837,

Simen Province, northern Ethiopia


Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. r. rufocinereus (Rüppell, 1837) – Eritrea, Ethiopia, N Somalia, S South Sudan, E Uganda, Kenya and N Tanzania.
  • M. r. sclateri E. J. O. Hartert, 1917 – SW Arabian Peninsula.
  • Descriptive notes

    15–16 cm; 20–27 g. Male nominate race is brownish blue-grey above, darker grey on wings, slaty blue-grey on face to mid-breast, with clean break to dull orange... read more


    Song, from top of small tree, a series of simple, sweet, scratchy, fluty phrases of varying pitch... read more


    In N of range, upland scrub such as juniper and euphorbia stands, open low copses and thickets,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, such as grasshoppers, beetles and caterpillars; also fruits of Rosa abyssinica and Olea chrysophylla. Apparently... read more


    Apr–May in Somalia; probably Feb–Mar, May and Sept–Oct in Ethiopia and Eritrea; Mar, Jun and Dec in Kenya; Feb–Aug... read more


    Sedentary; perhaps also a partial migrant, since reported only in Nov–Mar in extreme S Sudan... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Frequent to common in Ethiopia, and very common in Eritrea; locally common in Somalia; no recent records in S Sudan. Uncommon and local in E Africa,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. (2019). Little Rock-thrush (Monticola rufocinereus). 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).