GUIDE TO BIRDS OF ARMENIA

Blue Rock-thrush

Adult bird. Photo: B. Mukhapadyay

Latin name: Monticola solitarius

Latin name: Monticola solitarius

Family name: Old World Flycatchers 

Family name: Old World Flycatchers 

Among two Rock-thrushes, which inhabit Armenia, the Blue Rock-thrush occupies lower elevations from semi-desert, through juniper woodland, to dry mountain steppes. It is one of the early returnees, and its songs can be heard already in early March. Males are selecting high rocks to perform the displaying flight accompanied with the melodious songs. Females come back to the breeding sites a bit later, when the territories are already occupied. Nest is constructed mainly by female, although male also helps. The couple usually have two broods per year, feeding their nestlings with insects and other invertebrates. 

Among two Rock-thrushes, which inhabit Armenia, the Blue Rock-thrush occupies lower elevations from semi-desert, through juniper woodland, to dry mountain steppes. It is one of the early returnees, and its songs can be heard already in early March. Males are selecting high rocks to perform the displaying flight accompanied with the melodious songs. Females come back to the breeding sites a bit later, when the territories are already occupied. Nest is constructed mainly by female, although male also helps. The couple usually have two broods per year, feeding their nestlings with insects and other invertebrates.

Conservation status

This bird has particularly large territories, and therefore, low density. Probably for that reason the species was included in first edition of Red Book. However later it became clear that its population is stable and there is no need for special conservation measures for the species.

This bird has particularly large territories, and therefore, low density. Probably for that reason the species was included in first edition of Red Book. However later it became clear that its population is stable and there is no need for special conservation measures for the species.

More specific information about this species

Habitat

Breeds on precipitous cliffs, in steep rocky valleys and defiles, ravines and gorges, on crags, outcrops, arid boulder-strewn slopes, ruins, quarries and open mines, isolated stone buildings, churches in rural valleys from 400 to 1600 m a.s.l.

 

Food & Feeding

Invertebrates, small vertebrates, and fruit. Mainly insects, including grasshoppers, locusts, crickets, mole-crickets, adult and larval lepidopterans, beetles, ants and flies. Forages by scanning from low vantage and dropping to ground to take prey, also by hopping and running on ground; occasionally fly-catches.

 

Breeding

March to July, double-brooded. Nest a shallow cup or rough pad of coarse dry grass, rootlets, moss and leaves, loosely constructed and lined with fine soft grass, rootlets and occasional feathers and plant down, placed under rock overhang, in crevice of cliff, rock, bank, cave or building. Eggs 3–6, incubation period 12–15 days; nestling period 15–18 days; post-fledging dependence about 2 weeks.

 

Movements

The species leaves breeding ground in September, and returns in March, spending the winter in Middle East.

 

Family

Old World Flycatchers

 

Source of information

The Handbook to the Birds of the World

The Birds of the Western Palearctic

More specific information about this species

Habitat

Breeds on precipitous cliffs, in steep rocky valleys and defiles, ravines and gorges, on crags, outcrops, arid boulder-strewn slopes, ruins, quarries and open mines, isolated stone buildings, churches in rural valleys from 400 to 1600 m a.s.l.

 

Food & Feeding

Invertebrates, small vertebrates, and fruit. Mainly insects, including grasshoppers, locusts, crickets, mole-crickets, adult and larval lepidopterans, beetles, ants and flies. Forages by scanning from low vantage and dropping to ground to take prey, also by hopping and running on ground; occasionally fly-catches.

 

Breeding

March to July, double-brooded. Nest a shallow cup or rough pad of coarse dry grass, rootlets, moss and leaves, loosely constructed and lined with fine soft grass, rootlets and occasional feathers and plant down, placed under rock overhang, in crevice of cliff, rock, bank, cave or building. Eggs 3–6, incubation period 12–15 days; nestling period 15–18 days; post-fledging dependence about 2 weeks.

 

Movements

The species leaves breeding ground in September, and returns in March, spending the winter in Middle East.

 

Family

Old World Flycatchers

 

Source of information

The Handbook to the Birds of the World

The Birds of the Western Palearctic

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