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Difference between revisions of "Sentinel Rock Thrush" - BirdForum Opus

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Revision as of 15:54, 11 March 2011

Monticola explorator
Male Sentinel Rock Thrush
Photo by GarethH
Photo taken: Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve, South Africa

Identification

Length 17 cm, mass about 50 g. Adult male: The head to upper breast and back is a striking blue-grey, contrasting with a rich orange lower breast and belly. The wings are black and grey. The bill is black and the irises are brown. Adult female: Greyish brown with pale mottling above. Throat and breast streaked dark brown on a white to orange background. Belly creamy.

Distribution

Southern and eastern South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.

Immature Sentinel Rock Thrush
Photo by Alan Manson
Photo taken: Sani Pass, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa-Lesotho border.
Female Sentinel Rock Thrush
Photo by GarethH
Photo taken: Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve, South Africa

Taxonomy

There are two subspecies: M. e. explorator from most of the range of the species (Western Cape to Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Swaziland); and M. e. tenebriformis from Lesotho and KwaZulu-Natal, darker than the nominate race.

Habitat

Grasslands, heathlands, fynbos and other open habitats, often on rocky slopes.

Behaviour

Solitary, in pairs, or in small groups. Fairly active and often perches conspicuously. Forages on the ground (often from a low perch) mainly for insects, but also other invertebrates, seeds and fruit.

References

Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ & Ryan PG (eds) 2005. Robert's Birds of Southern Africa, 7th edition. John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town, South Africa. ISBN 0620340533

External Links

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