25. ROCK THRUSH.
Monticola saxatilis, (Linn.) Syst. Nat. i. p. 294 (1766) ; (Naumann), ii. p. 348, Taf. 73 ; (Hewitson). i. p. 95. pl. xxvi. fig. 2 ; (Gould), B. of E. ii. pl. 86 ; (id.) B. of Gt. Brit. ii. pl. 44 ; Dresser, ii. p. 129, pls. 16, 17 ; Seebohm, Cat. B. Br. Mus. v. p. 313 ; Oates, F. Brit. Ind. Birds, ii. p. 147 ; Tacz. F. O. Sib. O. p. 319 ; Saunders, p. 17 ; Lilford, iii. p. 96, pl. 48.
Merle de roche, French ; Melro das rochas, Portug. ; Mirlo pintado, Span. ; Codirossone, Ital. ; Steindrossel, German ; Kamennoi-Drozd, Russ.
Male ad. (Greece). Head and neck ashy cobalt blue ; fore part of back and scapulars black ; middle of back white ; rump grey and white ; tipper tail-coverts and tail cinnamon, the middle rectrices darker ; wings brown ; under parts rich orange red ; bill black ; legs brown ; iris brown. Culmen 0.9, wing 4.7, tail 2.6, tarsus 1.15 inch. The female is brown above with darker markings and tinged with blue ; middle of back mottled with creamy buff ; chin and throat whitish ; rest of under parts buffy white, washed with orange and scalloped with brown. In winter the feathers above have reddish tips, and below white margins.
Hab. Central and southern Europe ; Asia Minor and Asia north to southern Siberia, east to Dauria, south to China and northern India in winter and on passage ; north Africa on passage and Senegambia and Abyssinia in winter ; England (once).
Frequents rocky and stony localities, old ruins, and gar¬dens where there are old walls, and in general habits forms a link between the Thrushes and Chats. Its food consists of worms, beetles, and insects of various kinds and their larvae. Its song is sweet and varied, and it is highly esteemed as a cage-bird. It breeds late in May or early in June, and places its nest, which is loosely constructed of roots and grass-bents, lined with fine rootlets, and occasionally a few hairs and feathers, in the crevice of a rock or amongst stones, and deposits 4 to 5 uniform light blue, or greenish blue eggs, which are sometimes finely dotted with pale rufous, and measure about 1.0 by 0.75.
25. Monticola saxatilis
25. ROCK THRUSH.