ROCK THRUSHES OF SOUTH AFRICA

All three species of Rock Thrush found in South Africa are usually found obligingly perched on one or other vantage point providing an all-round view of their immediate surroundings.

Sentinel Rock Thrush - Patrick Cardwell www.avianleisure.com

Sentinel Rock Thrush - Patrick Cardwell www.avianleisure.com

Male birds in their rufous and slate-grey plumage combinations are particularly striking in appearance while the females are uniformly dull brown and far less conspicuous. Pairs maintain a close bond and both sexes are usually found in close proximity to one another. Of interest is that all three species occupy clearly defined habitat types with little overlap. The Cape Rock Thrush favours areas of relatively high rainfall and lower altitudes while the Sentinel Rock Thrush is a high altitude specialist of rocky slopes and alpine conditions.

Cape Rock Thrush, Male, Marakele - Patrick Cardwell www.avianleisure.com

Cape Rock Thrush, Male, Marakele - Patrick Cardwell www.avianleisure.com

The Short-toed Rock Thrush is a bird of the semi-arid west of the country where it favours savannah woodland in vicinity of rocky outcrops. As such the ranges are mutually exclusive making identification of the male birds relatively easy beyond the diagnostic feature relating mainly to the extent of grey on the mantle and forehead.

Short-toed Rock Thrush - Patrick Cardwell www.avianleisure.com

Short-toed Rock Thrush - Patrick Cardwell www.avianleisure.com

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