Rock Thrush (Monticola saxatilis)
Rock Thrush Bird Information & Facts
Southern Europe and the warmest parts of central Europe are the home of the rock thrush.
Length: 19 cm. The female is spotted brown and the young have a like coloration,
Voice: Courting note Schack chack’.
Song: Flute-like notes and combinations of various melodies learned from other birds.
Size of Egg: 23.2 — 30.0 x 16.9 – 21.0 mm.
Rock Thrush Habitat
Rock Thrush is found on sun-warmed and dry rocky slopes, in mountains also in vineyards, old castle ruins and abandoned quarries; it has been known to become established in quarries where work was in progress without appearing to be bothered by the noise and activity. Oddly enough, it is a very shy and wary bird and only rarely seen.
As soon as it spots a human being it disappears immediately, and when flying across open spaces it keeps close to thickets or the edge of a wood. The rock thrush returns from its winter quarters in tropical Africa or southwestern Arabia at the end of April and builds a nest of roots, plant stalks and moss, lined with moss and hair, which, to justify its name, it builds in cracks and rock crevices.
The 4 to 5 eggs are incubated by the hen alone for a period of 14 to 15 days, the young leaving the nest at the age of two weeks. The rock thrush feeds mainly on insects and their larvae; it also catches butterflies and flies on the wing, and sometimes gathers worms, centipedes, spiders and small molluscs. It leaves the breeding grounds for its winter quarters during the month of September. In former times this bird, especially the male, was prized by bird fanciers for its lovely song and was often kept in cages.
In central Europe, where this species is comparatively rare, it is protected by law. If well cared for and fed on insects it lives to a ripe age in the confines of a large cage.