Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

White-winged Cliff-chat (Monticola semirufus)


French: Monticole demi-roux German: Spiegelrötel Spanish: Roquero abisinio

Saxicola semirufa


, 1837,

Lake Tana, Ethiopia


Has variously been placed in Myrmecocichla or Thamnolaea, but balance of genetic evidence suggests that it is best treated in Monticola#R#R#R. Monotypic.


SC Eritrea and Ethiopia (except SE).

Descriptive notes

19–21 cm. Both sexes and all ages have white patch at base of primaries. Male is glossy black, with orange-russet ­abdomen; bill and legs black. Female is blackish... read more


Undocumented. Reported as having a fluty modulated song.


Requires mix of rocks and trees in landscape, thus on valley slopes bordering forest, scrubby... read more

Food and feeding

Little information available. Fledglings once seen fed with emerging winged termites.


Jun–Aug. Nest made of grass stems and moss, lined with feathers and hair, placed in rock crevice or hole in wall. Eggs 3, white or... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally frequent to common in Ethiopia, but uncommon in Sidamo and Borana; uncommon in Eritrea. Present in Bale Mountains, Mago, Simien Mountains,... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. (2019). White-winged Cliff-chat (Monticola semirufus). 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 6 December 2019).