Fun Speckled Mousebird Facts For Kids

Gurpuneet Kaur
Nov 22, 2022 By Gurpuneet Kaur
Originally Published on Sep 27, 2021
Edited by Jacob Fitzbright
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
These amazing speckled mousebird facts provide a brief description of its appearance, habits, and adaptations.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.7 Min

A speckled mousebird, Colius striatus, is yet another songbird from the order Colius. The pinkish-red legs and feet of the bird are unique to the mousebird. Also, the bill was black, while the lower part is pink-red in color. The mousebird is also known as bar-breasted mousebird, speckled colies, and bar-breasted colies. It has several subspecies including Colius striatus affinis, Colius striatus berlepschi, and Colius striatus cinerascens. It has a frugivorous diet, primarily feeding upon fruits. The bird's diet also comprises berries, leaves, buds, flowers, nectar, seeds, ants, and termites. It is a gregarious species found living in groups.

If the uniqueness of the speckled mousebird makes you interested to read more about similar species, you can check out house wren facts and great green macaw facts.

Speckled Mousebird Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a speckled mousebird?

The speckled mousebird, Colius striatus, is the largest songbird among the family of mousebirds found in South Africa. Also, it is among the most common 'backyard birds' found living in groups having a wide range of its habitat. It is also known as bar-breasted mousebird, speckled colies, and bar-breasted colies.

What class of animal does a speckled mousebird belong to?

The speckled mousebird, Colius striatus, belongs to the class Aves, order Coliiformes, family Coliidae, and genus Colius. It is further classified into various subspecies with Striatus group found in the southern part of South Africa, the Nigricollis group inhabiting the northwestern states, and the Leucotis group roosting within the eastern range.

How many speckled mousebirds are there in the world?

While speckled mousebirds are often spotted in groups within their range, the population of these birds around the world is not recorded so far.

Where does a speckled mousebird live?

The speckled mousebird, Colius striatus, is found to be endemic to South Africa. The birds often nest in gardens, parks, or streets as they are known to have adapted to live around humans.

What is a speckled mousebird's habitat?

The speckled mousebird is known to have a wide range of habitats including gardens, orchards, parks, bush velds, grasslands, savannas, shrublands, open and riverine woodlands. These birds are found nesting and preening near human habilitations in the villages and cities.

Who do speckled mousebirds live with?

Speckled mousebirds are gregarious birds often found living in groups. Also, the birds are quite well adapted to live around humans.

How long does a speckled mousebird live?

The average lifespan of mousebirds is around 11.5 years, whereas, though the estimated lifespan of the speckled mousebird is unknown.

How do they reproduce?

While speckled mousebirds nest in colonies, they are not recorded to have a specific breeding season. Thus, the birds may breed all around the year. The nest is usually made up of grass, leaves, fiber roots, moss, and small sticks. The female is known to lay a clutch of eggs comprising around one to seven eggs. Male and female, both incubate the eggs until they hatch into chicks. The chicks live close to their parents until they take their first flight.

What is their conservation status?

The speckled mousebird, Colius striatus, is listed as of Least Concern under the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Though the bird is not known to be threatened, human influence on the vegetation and predators are the only potential risks recorded against the mousebird.

Speckled Mousebird Fun Facts

What do speckled mousebirds look like?

It is a mousy-brown small bird with crest feathers on the top of its head, a distinctive long tail, a black bill, and pinkish-red legs.

The speckled mousebird has a mousy-brown plumage. The bill of the bird is black on the upper part of its mandible while is noted to have a pinkish color on the lower part of its mandible. It has a long tail, around half the length of its body, and its legs and feet are pink-red in color.

How cute are they?

With a crest over its head, the speckled mousebird is known as one of the adorable species with a small size and lightweight body.

How do they communicate?

The speckled mousebirds are songbirds found communicating via vocalizations. They are known to produce 'tisk-tisk' alarm calls or warbling 'tsu-tsu-tsu' calls during the flight. Although the birds are known for their voice as they sing sweet songs, they are one of the noisy species.

How big is a speckled mousebird?

The length of the speckled mousebirds ranges around 14 in (35 cm). In comparison, it is twice the size of the sunbird found in the southern and eastern parts of South Africa. A sunbird is around 4-10 in (10-25 cm) long with a brightly colored pelage.

How fast can a speckled mousebird fly?

Unlike penguins, speckled mousebirds can fly. Although the chicks are known to take their first flight within 16-18 days. It is speculated that the birds are known to have a substantial flight speed but the speed is not recorded. Also, they can swim and walk too within their range.

How much does a speckled mousebird weigh?

The speckled mousebird weighs around 1.7-2 oz (50-57 g). It is twice the weight of the pygmy falcon, the smallest raptor inhabiting in the southern and eastern parts of Africa, which weighs around 1.5-3 oz (42-85 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no sex-specific names for the speckled mousebird.

What would you call a baby speckled mousebird?

Though a baby speckled mousebird does not have a specific binomial name, juvenile birds are often called chicks, hatchlings, fledglings, or nestlings.

What do they eat?

The speckled mousebird is recorded to feed upon a frugivorous diet that primarily comprises fruits. Also, the mousebirds feed upon a variety of berries, leaves, buds, flowers, nectar, and seeds found within their range. Nonetheless, they rarely prey and feed upon ants and termites.

Are they dangerous?

No, speckled mousebirds are not dangerous, rather they are a gregarious species. These song-singing birds and humans are often found communicating with one another and share a friendly relationship. Further, the mousebirds are speculated to be threatened by the unjust practices of humans and predators.

Would they make a good pet?

Mousebirds are known to have quite similar qualities to parrots. Although both species of birds are gregarious and make great pets, mousebirds are not as common as pets as parrots. Similarly, speckled mousebirds can be petted, too. Also, they are aviary birds found roosting, preening, and feeding in tight groups of around 20 individuals, the birds are advised to be kept free rather than petting them in a cage.

Did you know...

The bird with a mousy-brown pelage moving through the vegetation or cultivated field is easily mistaken as a mouse. Thus, the mousebird is called so due to its mouse-like appearance. The speckled mousebird, specifically, is also known as bar-breasted mousebird, speckled colies, and bar-breasted colies.

Do Mousebirds migrate?

Although bird species are known to undertake seasonal movements and migrate from one place to other, the mousebirds are non-migratory birds found making small distant movements during the day and night. Mousebirds are speculated as endemic species inhabiting the sub-Saharan African states.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our lesser flamingo facts and eastern kingbird facts for kids.

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

Main image by Charles J. Sharp.

Second image by Dick Daniels.

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Written by Gurpuneet Kaur

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

Gurpuneet Kaur picture

Gurpuneet KaurBachelor of Arts specializing in Economics

As a skilled content writer, Gurpuneet has written and managed engaging content for multiple websites and companies. Driven by a passion for helping young people achieve their full potential, she brings a unique perspective to her work. She is currently pursuing a degree in Economics from Sri Guru Gobind Singh College Of Commerce. With extensive experience as a tutor, Gurpuneet has made a significant impact by providing guidance and academic support to students. Her dedication extends beyond tutoring as she has volunteered with Action India, where she offered medical assistance and educational aid to underprivileged communities. Additionally, Gurpuneet has contributed to the creation of student study guides for various educational agencies.

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