White-backed Mousebird

White-backed Mousebird (Colius colius)

This little bird is one of a fairly large group of birds… It is found in western and central regions of southern Africa from Namibia and southern Botswana eastwards to Central Transvaal and the eastern Cape.

This bird is about 34 cm (13 inches) long, with the tail comprising approximately half the length. When handling mousebirds the tail should be avoided, as the long tail feathers come out easily, suggesting like a lizard that it might be a sacrificial defence mechanism.

This little fellow I capture in the Kalahari and the last photo, although not good, just has a good look about it…

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34 thoughts on “White-backed Mousebird

  1. I love all those little birds, and they DO look like mice when they are on the ground! Your photographs are superb! I used to notice birds when at home in the garden. Even in the kitchen, doves used to sit watching me from where they perched on the phone wire where they could see through the door. Where I now live, there is a bird bath right opposite my front door and it is a joy to watch the birds, but I need to get a bird book to help me learn the names.

    • Those name can become difficult sometimes.. making sure the ID is right… we have a book called LBJ’s (little brown jobs) there are so many smaller birds that look so similar that to ID them is not easy.. but that to me is what makes it fun.. and to sit and watch their mannerisms and behaviour is just mind blowing some times..

  2. Interesting how the hair on his head sticks up so high, is it always that way or do these birds do that for particular reasons?

    • How true.. but then it might have been an Afrikaner that discovered the bird and named it… you have just raised a very interesting point and now I’m going to have to go and research it…

    • Yes that last photo.. I don’t know why I love it so much… that almost look of surprise that I captured him.. the look of worry.. or inquiry… just love the photo…

    • Yes a seed eater it is… as for why they are called mousebirds… good question.. I have no idea… stumped me on that one, but then I’ve never thought of that…

    • I’ve been working the birds since I started school ( collected birds eggs) and they have just been a joy for me to study and watch all my life… so yes I do know a small amount about them, I lie actually I know quite a lot.. specially the raptors, as I’ve always loved their power and grace.. but the little ones have a way of reminding one that there are nearly 1000 bird specie in the areas I’ve lived and visit…

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