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Short-toed Rock Thrush - BirdForum Opus

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Monticola brevipes

Includes Pretoria (Transvaal) Rock-Thrush

Photo by nkgray
Photo taken: Hotazel, Northern Cape, South Africa.


Wing coverts are grey, the head is pale grey to white in most subspecies (less so in pretoriae), and the separation of grey throat from orange breast is neat and contrasty.

Similar species

Cape Rock Thrush is the main contender.


Angola, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa.


Monticola brevipes has two subspecies:[1]

  • M. b. brevipes
  • M. b. pretoriae
  • Mountains of south-eastern Botswana to north-central and central South Africa.
  • Separated as Pretoria Rock-Thrush by some authorities;[2] this is supported by molecular, morphological and distributional evudence.[3]


Dry shrubland.



  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F, M Wright and D Donsker. 2009. IOC World Bird Names (version 2.0). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  3. Outlaw, RK, G Voelker, DC Outlaw. 2007. Molecular systematics and historical biogeography of the rock-thrushes (Muscicapidae: Monticola). The Auk 124: 561-577. Available at findarticles.com
  4. Birdforum thread discussing id of Short-toed Rock Thrush and especially subspecies pretoriae

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