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Blue Rock Thrush - BirdForum Opus

Adult male M. s. solitarius
Photo © by Jamie MacArthur
Lesvos, Greece, April 2009
Monticola solitarius


Adult female M. s. solitarius
Photo © by Jamie MacArthur
Lesvos, Greece, April 2009

20–23 cm (7¾-9 in)
Male nominate

  • Blue-grey plumage
  • Darker wings and tail

Female variable and immature

  • Dark brown upperparts
  • Pale brown scaly underparts


Male of East Asian subspecies philippenis has chestnut underparts. Southeast Asian subspecies madoci small and short-tailed.


Southern Europe, north-western Africa (wintering to north-eastern and central Africa), Siberia to central Asia to northern China and Malaysia.



Subspecies philippenis
Photo © by robby thai
Koh Chang Island, Ranong Province, Thailand, 3 April 2014

There are 5 subspecies[1]:

  • M. s. solitarius:
  • M. s. longirostris:
  • M. s. pandoo:
  • M. s. philippensis:
  • M. s. madoci:


Fairly conspicuous on exposed rocky slopes, road cuts even through forests, open areas including parks, and along rocky streams and rivers (on wintering grounds).



They nest on steep cliffs in rock cavities and walls. The clutch consists of 3-5 eggs.


The diet vertebrates, small vertebrates, insects and fruit. Insects include grasshoppers, locusts and crickets.


Subspecies philippensis, Autumn male
Photo © by bievreJJ
Hachijo-jima, Izu Islands, Japan, 8 September 2012

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  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Collar, N. (2019). Blue Rock-thrush (Monticola solitarius). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/58415 on 26 March 2019).
  4. Clement, P. & Hathway, R. (2000) Thrushes. Princeton Univ. Press, Princeton.

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