Scientific Name:
Achaetops pycnopygius
Sub-Saharan Africa
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About the Rockrunner

The Rockrunner (Achaetops pycnopygius) is a small, inconspicuous bird species endemic to South Africa.


Rockrunners are typically found in rocky habitats, including mountain slopes, cliffs, and boulder-strewn areas. They inhabit regions with dense vegetation such as fynbos, scrubland, and montane grasslands. These birds are well adapted to rocky terrain, where they can easily move and forage for food among the rocks and crevices. They are often found in areas with sparse human disturbance.


Rockrunners are relatively small birds, measuring around 16 centimeters (6.3 inches) in length. They have a compact body, short wings, and a long tail. Their plumage is predominantly grayish-brown, with darker streaking on the back and wings. They have a distinctive white stripe above the eye, a pale throat, and a cinnamon-colored patch on the rump. Best Viewing The best places to view Rockrunners are in their native habitat of rocky terrain and mountainous regions in South Africa. Look for them in areas with suitable rocky outcrops and dense vegetation, where they can hide and forage for insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates. Rockrunners are often seen hopping or running among the rocks and crevices, using their long tails for balance.