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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 06, 2021

15 Amaze-wing Facts About The Mousebird For Kids

Read these mousebird facts about this interesting bird.

Mousebirds (Urocolius) are small grayish-brown birds that belong to the genus Colius found in Sub-Saharan Africa, and they get their name from the similar appearance of these birds with mice. Speckled mousebirds are gregarious, having a similar analogy is that of mice, and are found breeding in lightly wooded countries in the band of about 20. The class, order, and family of this bird are Aves, Coliiformes, and Coliidae.

The different groups of these mousebirds (Urocolius) are located in various parts of the globe; the white-backed mousebird is found in the regions of South Africa. The blue-naped mousebirds are found in the drier regions of East Africa. Finally, speckled mousebirds are found in Eastern, Southern, and Central Africa.

The speckled mousebirds are usually seen building up a nest in hidden and covered places like leaf-covered branches or thick bushes. This bird also builds its nest near the wasps' nests because the wasps provide them with protection against snakes and larger birds. They are also seen living in groups or a band of about 20. These birds are also seen feeding on fruit, flowers, leaves, insects, and buds.

During the breeding season, you can easily see mutual preening taking place between speckled mousebirds. The newly born young bird may weigh about 0.07 oz (1.9 g) or maybe less. After a few days of birth, their length is not too long, but it gradually changes to about 10.2-15.7 in (26-39.8 cm) when they start growing into an adult. A baby-specked mousebird usually feeds on some fruit, like berries.

Here on our page, we have lots of interesting facts on the mousebird that everyone will enjoy. So let's have a look at these interesting facts, and if you do like these, then read our western bluebird and Eclectus parrot facts.

Mousebird Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a mousebird?

A mousebird, like the speckled mousebird (Colius striatus), is a bird.

What class of animal does a mousebird belong to?

The speckled mousebird, like other mousebirds, belongs to the class Aves.

How many mousebirds are there in the world?

To give an exact estimate of the population of the mousebirds in the world is not possible yet, but it is known that there are six species and two genera of these birds. Keeping in mind that their current population status is free from the threats of becoming extinct, it is known that they exist in quite an abundance worldwide. Some of the different species of these mousebirds are the blue-naped mousebird, speckled mousebird, red-faced mousebird, and white-headed mousebird.

Where does a mousebird live?

A speckled mousebird (Colius striatus) lives in forest edges, woodland, and savanna regions. These mousebirds are often found in deciduous forests where the trees lose their leaves during dry or cold seasons. Some of these birds are found living in grasslands where there are a few trees and a lot of grass, whereas some are also found living in parks and gardens.

What is a mousebird's habitat?

The basic habitat of a speckled mousebird is located in sub-Saharan Africa, southern Africa, and countries south of the Sahara desert. The different species of these mousebirds are distributed widely across the globe; the white-headed mousebirds are seen in Kenya and Tanzania. The white-backed and red-backed mousebird is found in parts of southern Africa.

Who do mousebirds live with?

Speckled mousebirds and other mousebirds live with species of their kind. This bird occasionally is seen living in a flight of about 30.

How long does a mousebird live?

The lifespan of mousebirds is 11.5 years when held in captivity. However, their lifespan is around eight years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

The female speckled mousebird lays eggs that are then incubated by both the male and the female. The clutch size of a speckled mousebird is around one to seven eggs. The eggs hatch in about 11-12 days. These individual pairs help take care of the eggs and are often helped by other birds, which are considered to be their 'helpers'. These individual pairs often keep their bonds for years. They are primarily monogamous.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN, the conservation status of a speckled mousebird is declared as Least Concern. This means that they are free from the threat of becoming endangered or even extinct. To estimate the mousebird population is difficult, but keeping in mind that they are free from the threats of becoming extinct, they are found to exist in quite an abundance. It is known that there are six species and two genera of these birds.

Mousebird Fun Facts

What do mousebirds look like?

A mousebird is brown-gray in color and has soft hair-like feathers. A speckled mousebird has short red legs and feet. These birds have strongly curved bills strong enough to break the skin off any fruit. A speckled mousebird has short red legs and a curved bill, soft grayish-brown feathers

The speckled mousebird has about 17 subspecies differentiated by plumage and by bill, legs, and iris color.

How cute are they?

The speckled mousebird species are cute birds that will certainly draw your eye.

How do they communicate?

The mousebirds communicate by using song, call notes, and behavior.

How big is a mousebird?

A speckled mousebird (Colius striatus) has a range of 10.2-15.7 in (26-39.8 cm) when it comes to its length. This bird is about five times bigger than a rat.

How fast can a mousebird fly?

The exact speed of these birds is not known. What we do know is that they are medium-paced birds. Young ones of the mousebird fly within 17-18 days of birth.

How much does a mousebird weigh?

The mousebirds weigh about 1.7 oz (48.1 g) similar to a song thrush. They are lightweight birds.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male and the female of the species do not have any separate names. They are known as the male mousebird and female mousebird.

What would you call a baby mousebird?

A baby mousebird is called a juvenile.

What do they eat?

The mousebirds feed on fruit, flowers, leaves, and buds. Sometimes they are also seen feeding on insects and worms. Speckled mousebirds are frugivores that primarily feed on raw fruit like berries, seeds, leaves, and nectar.

Are they dangerous?

Though there have been no reports of these birds attacking or being harmful to humans, there is no information available on the potential damage they could cause.

Would they make a good pet?

The speckled mousebird could make a good pet if provided with favorable conditions in which it can thrive. Also, if provided with good feeding and handling conditions, you could easily have them as a pet. They are often bred in groups. They are very similar to tiny parrot pets and behave similarly. They are sweet and cuddly and can be kept in a cage. They are also very curious.

Did you know...

The natural predators of these birds are rattlesnakes, mammals, and carnivorous birds.

The order, family, genus, species count, and other details of this bird group are order: Coliiformes, family: Coliidae, genus: Colius, and species count: six.

The scientific name of a blue-naped mousebird is Urocolius macrourus. The bird resembles a mouse - hence the name.

The length of these speckled mousebirds is about 10.2 -15.7 in (26-39.8 cm).

Mousebirds are considered to be very social and noisy birds. This bird occasionally is seen living in a flight of about 30. Preening is a very common behavior between these birds.

Where do mousebirds nest?

This bird species is known for building up a cup-shaped nest made up of twigs in trees lined with grasses.

How many eggs do mousebirds lay?

These speckled mousebirds lay about one to seven eggs in a single clutch.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out these blue-winged macaw facts and cedar waxwing facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable mousebird coloring pages.

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