basic information

Blue Rock Thrush

Monticola solitarius (Linnaeus, 1758)

Синий каменный дрозд | Көк сайрақ

Malay-Sary gorge, Almaty region
© Vassiliy Fedorenko


Male Blue Rock Thrush in breeding plumage is blue with grayish-blue underparts; underparts are slightly lighter than upperparts. Wings and tail are black, legs are dark-brownish, bill and claws are black. Spring female is dark-brown slightly bluish tinged above. Underparts are pale-brownish or dark-grey heavy mottled, because feathers have pale tips and dark-brownish pre-terminal strips. Undertail is rusty-buff black barred. Wings and tail are dark-brownish. Bill is black, legs are dark-brownish. After autumn moulting male is dark-brownish whitish mottled above; feathers of underparts are with whitish tips and dark-brownish pre-terminal strips. Autumn female is less distinguished from spring one. Juveniles are similar on female but dimmer; upperparts are with buffy tone; underparts are grayish-buff dark-brownish mottled. Bill and legs are horn color. Sizes: wing 111.3-121.0, tail 75-84. Weight - 37.3-54.5 gr.


Blue Rock Thrush breeds in Tien Shan, Karatau and Chu-Iliyskiye Mts. (possibly up to Dzhambulgora), in Dzhungarskiy Alatau and its foothills, in Arkarly mounts, Tarbagatay and probably Monrak. Vagrant birds recorded in Grebenskiye Mts. near Orenburg (12 September and 21 May 1890), in north-western spurs of Mugodzhary ridge (Dzharyktau, 25 June 1883) and 29 April 1985 in Kurgaldzhino Reserve.


Blue Rock Thrush is rare breeding migrant. It inhabits rocky gorges with cliffs and rare vegetation in low mountains and foothills, sometimes without waterless; and rarely clay precipices on altitudes from 500-600 up to 1600-2300 m. On migration Blue Rock Thrush visits groves, open meadows, stony shore of rivers and steams and man-made forests. It appears in end April - early May. Breeding in separate pairs fairly far from each other. Female only builds nest in rock cavity or in crack, from dry grass stems and thin grass lined with rootlets and bush bast. Clutches of 3-7, usually 5 eggs is from mid-May to end June. Both parents feed juveniles, which fledge in end June - early August. Autumn migration begins in second half of August, latest birds recorded in early - mid-September.


Monticola solitarius pandoo (Sykes, 1832)


"Птицы Казахстана" том 3. "Наука". Алма-Ата, 1970. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005.



Monticola solitarius pandoo
(Sykes, 1832)


Monticola solitarius maak
(Sykes, 1832)
Monticola solitarius affinis
(Blyth, 1843)
Monticola solitarius longirostris
(Blyth, 1847)
Monticola solitarius erythropterus
(Gray, 1860)
Monticola solitarius tenuirostris
(Johansen, 1907)
Monticola solitarius transcaspicus
(Hartert, 1909)

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