Monticola brevipes (Short-toed rock-thrush) 

Korttoonkliplyster [Afrikaans]; Kortteen-rotslijster [Dutch]; Monticole à doigts courts [French]; Kurzzehenrötel [German]; Melro-das-rochas-de-dedos-curtos [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Passeriformes > Family: Muscicapidae > Genus: Monticola

Monticola brevipes (Short-toed rock-thrush)  Monticola brevipes (Short-toed rock-thrush) 

Short-toed rock-thrush female, Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]

Short-toed rock-thrush male, Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, South Africa. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]

Distribution and habitat

Near-endemic to southern Africa, occurring from south-western Angola through Namibia to South Africa and southern Botswana. It is most common on rocky outcrops, inselbergs, escarpments and river valleys with scattered bushes and trees. It also occupies edges of towns and villages, especially during winter.

Distribution of Short-toed rock-thrush in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  


It eats arthropods supplemented with fruit and seeds, doing most of its foraging on the ground or on flat rooftops. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:


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Not threatened.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town. 

  • Harrison, J.A., Allan, D.G., Underhill, L.G., Herremans, M., Tree. A.J., Parker, V. & Brown, C.J. (eds). 1997. The atlas of southern African birds. Vol. 2: Passerines. BirdLife South Africa, Johannesburg.



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