Rock thrush

Monticola saxatilis

TAXONOMY

Monticola saxatilis Linnaeus, 1776. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Rufous-tailed rock thrush, European rock-thrush; French: Merle de roche; German: Steinrotel; Spanish: Roquero Rojo.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

7.3 in (18.5 cm); male 1.4-2.3 oz (40-65 g); female 1.5-2.3 oz (42-65 g). Gray head, upperparts, and throat with dull orange breast to undertail. Grayish bill and legs.

DISTRIBUTION

Locally from Iberia and Morocco, eastwards through southern Europe, Turkey, and Iran to central Asia; winters in Africa.

HABITAT

Sunny, dry, stony, or rocky slopes, upland meadows, and pastures with scattered bushes, barren stony hillsides; winters in wooded savanna.

BEHAVIOR

Pairs or family groups, mostly terrestrial or perching on low trees or bushes; hops over ground, stands upright like a wheatear, wags tail; mostly shy and solitary.

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