Order Coliiformes is the small bird order which contains only 6 species of small birds called mousebirds. These types of birds are found in sub-Saharan Africa.
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Order Coliiformes Characteristics
Here are the main characteristics of Coliiformes birds:
- Mousebirds are small, only about 14 inches in length and weigh about 45 to 55 grams. As the name suggests, mousebirds have feathers that resemble and have the texture of the mouse skin.
- These birds have long, thin tails.
- Mousebirds have short, stubby bills.
- Mousebirds are real acrobats with ability to rotate all 4 toes to hang & feed in upside down position.
- Their feathers are soft, and usually, are colored grey and brown.
- These birds have short, heavy feet with an additional fourth toe.
- Mousebirds can be found in forests, as well as on trees near shores and in savannas.
- These small birds are social and often found in small groups.
- Mousebirds are both monogamous and polygynous.
- During the dry season, they flock into larger groups around 30 birds in total.
- These birds eat fruit, seeds, blossoms and other types of vegetation;
- Coliiformes nest in colonies. They make cup-shaped twig nests in trees. On average, it can hold between 2 to 4 tiny eggs in the nest.
- Both parents care for the chicks, that develop rapidly and can even climb out of the nest when threatened when they are two weeks old.
- Some of the moosebird species have adapted to living in urban areas.
There are only 6 species in Coliiformes order. The Urocolius species are from Eastern and Southern Africa.
- Bar-breasted mousebirds, Colius striatus
- Chestnut-backed mousebird, Colius castanotus
- White-headed mousebird, Colius leucocephalus
- White-backed mousebird, Colius colius
- Blue-naped mousebird, Urocolius macrourus
- Red-faced mousebird, Urocolius indicus