The mousebirds (family Coliidae, order Coliiformes) are a family of birds. They are the sister group to the clade Eucavitaves, which includes the cuckoo roller (Leptosomatiformes), trogons (Trogoniformes), Bucerotiformes, Coraciformes and Piciformes. The mousebirds are therefore given order status as Coliiformes. This group is confined to sub-Saharan Africa, and is the only bird order confined entirely to that continent. They had a wider range in prehistoric times, with a widespread distribution in Europe and North America during the Paleocene.
Temporal range: Early Paleocene to present
|Blue-naped mousebird (Urocolius macrourus)|
They are slender greyish or brown birds with soft, hairlike body feathers. They are typically about 10 cm in body length, with a long, thin tail a further 20–24 cm in length, and weigh 45–55 grams. They are arboreal and scurry through the leaves like rodents, in search of berries, fruit and buds. This habit, and their legs, gives rise to the group's English name. They are acrobatic, and can feed upside down. All species have strong claws and reversible outer toes (pamprodactyl feet). They also have crests and stubby bills.
Mousebirds are gregarious, again reinforcing the analogy with mice, and are found in bands of about 20 in lightly wooded country. These birds build cup-shaped twig nests in trees, which are lined with grasses. Two to four eggs are typically laid, hatching to give altricial young which develop quickly and soon leave the nest and acquire flight.
The mousebirds could be considered "living fossils" as the 6 species extant today are merely the survivors of a lineage that was massively more diverse in the early Paleogene and Miocene. There are comparatively abundant fossils of Coliiformes, but it has not been easy to assemble a robust phylogeny. The family is documented to exist from the Early Paleocene onwards; by at least the Late Eocene, two families are known to have existed, the extant Coliidae and the longer-billed prehistorically extinct Sandcoleidae.
The latter were previously a separate order, but eventually it was realized that they had come to group ancestral Coraciiformes, the actual sandcoleids and forms like Neanis together in a paraphyletic assemblage. Even though the sandcoleids are now assumed to be monophyletic following the removal of these taxa, many forms cannot be conclusively assigned to one family or the other. The genus Selmes, for example, is probably a coliid, but only distantly related to the modern genera.
The blue-naped mousebird (Urocolius macrourus), also formerly called the blue-naped coly (Colius macrourus) is found in the wild in the drier regions of East Africa and is also a common pet bird. It is one of the remaining six species of Mousebirds. The term “mousebird” comes from its ability to move along the ground in a way that resembles the scurrying of a mouse.Colius
Colius is a genus of mousebirds in the family Coliidae. The four species are widely distributed in Africa. Two other African mousebirds are placed in the genus Urocolius.
The genus Colius was introduced by the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in 1760 with the white-backed mousebird (Colius colius) as the type species.The genus contains the following four species:
A fossil species, Colius hendeyi, was described from Early Pliocene remains found at Langebaanweg in South Africa.
Some Miocene taxa from France were previously assigned to Colius. Of these, only the Middle Miocene "Colius" palustris might plausibly belong there, but it is more often separated in Necrornis. In younger lineages like Passeriformes, extant genera (e.g. Menura and Orthonyx) were around by then, though it must be remembered that simply because two taxa are of same taxonomic rank they do not need to be of the same age. All that can be said is that while it cannot be ruled out that the modern genus Colius was around in Miocene Europe, it more likely evolved later, and probably in sub-Saharan Africa.
"Colius" archiaci, "C." consobrinus and "C." paludicola on the other hand are 3 taxa described from fragmentary remains found at Saint-Gérand-le-Puy. Their taxonomic history is convoluted, being initially described as woodpeckers and variously merged and split. Today it is believed that they might all belong to a species in the modern genus Urocolius, or at least 2 into a prehistoric genus Limnatornis.Coly (disambiguation)
Coly is a village in the Dordogne department, in France.
Coly may also refer to:
Mousebird, a group of birds
Ferdinand Coly (born 1973), Senegalese footballer
Matar Coly (born 1984), Senegalese footballer
Tim Coly, German rugby union playerFaerie Glen Nature Reserve
Faerie Glen Nature Reserve is a nature reserve at the western limit of the Bronberg in the east of Pretoria, South Africa. It formerly formed a part of the farm Hartbeespoort 304 which belonged to H. W. Struben. On old aerial photographs it is apparent that the flood plain was utilized for crop fields, while the remainder was used for cattle grazing. The reserve constitutes the western part of the Bronberg conservation area, which was declared in 1980. Its highest point is Renosterkop (1,468 m) in the northern part of the reserve.Groenkloof Nature Reserve
The Groenkloof Nature Reserve, located adjacent to the Fountains Valley at the southern entrance to Pretoria, was the first game sanctuary in Africa. The reserve of 600 ha is managed by the Department of Nature Conservation. The National Heritage Monument is located within the reserve. It is flanked by Christina de Wit Avenue and Nelson Mandela Drive, that separate it from the Voortrekker Monument and Klapperkop Nature Reserves. In aggregate these reserves conserve some 1,400 ha of bankenveld vegetation which is threatened in Gauteng. The reserve is open to day visitors from 5:30 to 19:00 in summer, and 7:00 to 18:00 in winter.Kleptothermy
Kleptothermy is any form of thermoregulation by which an animal shares in the metabolic thermogenesis of another animal. It may or may not be reciprocal, and occurs in both endotherms and ectotherms. Its most common form is huddling.Langebaanweg
Langebaanweg is a town on the southwest coast of South Africa, in Western Cape Province.
It is the location of the air force base AFB Langebaanweg.
Langebaanweg has been an important mining center, with its mai minerals consisting of phosphorites, primarily calcium phosphate. The mining uncovered fossils dating from the late Miocene and early Pliocene, approximately 5 million years ago. Fossil species found there include invertebrates and also a type of rhinoceros, as well as a mousebird and a diving petrel. The West Coast Fossil Park includes displays of fossils found in a former phosphate mine. Brett Hendey, formally of the Iziko South African Museum, documented the significance of the Langebaanweg fossil sites.Langebaanweg is also notable as the birthplace of former England cricketer Allan Lamb, who played 79 Tests for his adopted country as well as in the 1987 and 1992 Cricket World Cup Finals.List of endemic birds of southern Africa
The following is a list of bird species endemic or near-endemic to southern Africa (South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and southern Mozambique).
Grey-winged francolin, Scleroptila africanus
Orange River francolin, Scleroptila levaillantoides
Red-billed spurfowl (red-billed francolin), Pternistes adspersus
Cape spurfowl (Cape francolin), Pternistes capensis
Natal spurfowl (Natal francolin), Pternistes natalensis
South African shelduck, Tadorna cana
Cape shoveler, Anas smithii
Hottentot buttonquail, Turnix hottentotta
Knysna woodpecker, Campethera notata
Ground woodpecker, Geocolaptes olivaceus
Acacia pied barbet, Tricholaema leucomelas
Monteiro's hornbill (Damara hornbill), Tockus monteiri
Southern yellow-billed hornbill, Tockus leucomelas
Bradfield's hornbill, Tockus bradfieldi
White-backed mousebird, Colius colius
Cape parrot, Poicephalus robustus
Ruppell's parrot, Poicephalus rueppellii
Rosy-faced lovebird, Agapornis roseicollis
Bradfield's swift, Apus bradfieldi
Knysna turaco, Tauraco corythaix
Ludwig's bustard, Neotis ludwigii
Red-crested korhaan, Eupodotis ruficrista
Southern black korhaan (black bustard), Afrotis afra (Eupodotis afra)
Northern black korhaan (white-quilled bustard), Afrotis afraoides (Eupodotis afraoides)
Ruppell's korhaan, Eupodotis rueppellii
Karoo korhaan, Eupodotis vigorsii
Blue korhaan, Eupodotis caerulescens
Blue crane, Anthropoides paradiseus
Namaqua sandgrouse, Pterocles namaqua
Double-banded sandgrouse, Pterocles bicinctus
Burchell's sandgrouse, Pterocles burchelli
Burchell's courser, Cursorius rufus
Hartlaub's gull, Larus hartlaubii
Cape vulture, Gyps coprotheres
Black harrier, Circus maurus
Southern pale chanting goshawk, Melierax canorus
Forest buzzard, Buteo trizonatus
Jackal buzzard, Buteo rufofuscus
Crowned cormorant, Phalacrocorax coronatus
Bank cormorant, Phalacrocorax neglectus
Southern bald ibis, Geronticus calvus
African penguin, Spheniscus demersus
Southern tchagra, Tchagra tchagra
Southern boubou, Laniarius ferrugineus
Crimson-breasted shrike, Laniarius atrococcineus
Bokmakierie, Telophorus zeylonus
Olive bushshrike, Telophorus olivaceus
White-tailed shrike, Lanioturdus torquatus
Cape batis, Batis capensis
Pririt batis, Batis pririt
Southern white-crowned shrike, Eurocephalus anguitimens
Cape rockjumper, Chaetops frenatus
Drakensberg rockjumper, Chaetops aurantius
Cape penduline tit, Anthoscopus minutus
Carp's tit, Parus carpi
Ashy tit, Parus cinerascens
Grey tit, Parus afer
African red-eyed bulbul, Pycnonotus nigricans
Cape bulbul, Pycnonotus capensis
Fairy flycatcher, Stenostira scita
Rockrunner, Achaetops pycnopygius
Cape grassbird, Sphenoeacus afer
Victorin's warbler, Bradypterus victorini
Karoo eremomela, Eremomela gregalis
Knysna warbler, Bradypterus sylvaticus
Barratt's warbler, Bradypterus barratti
Black-faced babbler, Turdoides melanops
Southern pied babbler, Turdoides bicolor
Bush blackcap, Lioptilus nigricapillus
Layard's tit-babbler, Parisoma layardi
Chestnut-vented tit-babbler, Parisoma subcaeruleum
Cape white-eye, Zosterops virens
Orange River white-eye, Zosterops pallidus
Grey-backed cisticola, Cisticola subruficapillus
Rufous-winged cisticola, Cisticola galactotes
Cloud cisticola, Cisticola textrix
Black-chested prinia, Prinia flavicans
Karoo prinia, Prinia maculosa
Drakensberg prinia, Prinia hypoxantha
Namaqua warbler, Phragmacia substriata
Robert's warbler, Oreophilais robertsi
Rufous-eared warbler, Malcorus pectoralis
Rudd's apalis, Apalis ruddi
Chirinda apalis, Apalis chirindensis
Barred wren-warbler, Calamonastes fasciolatus
Cinnamon-breasted warbler, Euryptila subcinnamomea
Monotonous lark, Mirafra passerina
Melodious lark, Mirafra cheniana
Cape clapper lark, Mirafra apiata
Eastern clapper lark, Mirafra fasciolata
Sabota lark (incl. Bradfield's), Mirafra sabota
Fawn-coloured lark, Calendulauda africanoides
Rudd's lark, Heteromirafra ruddi
Red lark, Certhilauda burra
Karoo lark, Certhilauda albescens
Barlow's lark, Certhilauda barlowi
Dune lark, Certhilauda erythrochlamys
Cape long-billed lark, Certhilauda curvirostris
Agulhas long-billed lark, Certhilauda brevirostris
Eastern long-billed lark, Certhilauda semitorquata
Karoo long-billed lark, Certhilauda subcoronata
Short-clawed lark, Certhilauda chuana
Gray's lark, Ammomanes grayi
Spike-heeled lark, Chersomanes albofasciata
Black-eared sparrow-lark, Eremopterix australis
Grey-backed sparrow-lark, Eremopterix verticalis
Stark's lark, Eremalauda starki
Pink-billed lark, Spizocorys conirostris
Botha's lark, Spizocorys fringillaris
Sclater's lark, Spizocorys sclateri
Large-billed lark, Galerida magnirostris
Cape rock thrush, Monticola rupestris
Sentinel rock thrush, Monticola explorator
Short-toed rock thrush Monticola brevipes
Karoo thrush Turdus smithi
Chat flycatcher, Bradornis infuscatus
Marico flycatcher, Bradornis mariquensis
Fiscal flycatcher, Sigelus silens
White-throated robin-chat, Cossypha humeralis
Chorister robin-chat, Cossypha dichroa
Brown scrub robin, Cercotrichas signata
Kalahari scrub robin, Cercotrichas paena
Karoo scrub robin, Cercotrichas coryphaeus
Herero chat, Namibornis herero
Buff-streaked chat, Oenanthe bifasciata
Mountain wheatear, Oenanthe monticola
Sickle-winged chat, Cercomela sinuata
Karoo chat, Cercomela schlegelii
Tractrac chat, Cercomela tractrac
Anteating chat, Myrmecocichla formicivora
Boulder chat, Pinarornis plumosus
Pale-winged starling, Onychognathus nabouroup
Burchell's starling, Lamprotornis australis
Pied starling, Spreo bicolor
Gurney's sugarbird, Promerops gurneyi
Cape sugarbird, Promerops cafer
Orange-breasted sunbird, Anthobaphes violacea
Southern double-collared sunbird, Cinnyris chalybea
Greater double-collared sunbird, Cinnyris afra
Neergaard's sunbird, Cinnyris neergaardi
Dusky sunbird, Cinnyris fusca
Great sparrow, Passer motitensis
Cape sparrow, Passer melanurus
Cape longclaw, Macronyx capensis
Yellow-breasted pipit, Anthus chloris
African rock pipit, Anthus crenatus
Scaly-feathered finch, Sporopipes squamifrons
Sociable weaver, Philetairus socius
Cape weaver, Ploceus capensis
Pink-throated twinspot, Hypargos margaritatus
Swee waxbill, Estrilda melanotis
Red-headed finch, Amadina erythrocephala
Shaft-tailed whydah, Vidua regia
Forest canary, Crithagra scotops
Lemon-breasted canary, Crithagra citrinipectus
Yellow canary, Crithagra flaviventris
White-throated canary, Crithagra albogularis
Protea canary, Crithagra leucoptera
Cape siskin, Crithagra totta
Drakensberg siskin, Crithagra symonsi
Cape canary, Serinus canicollis
Black-headed canary, Serinus alario
Lark-like bunting, Emberiza impetuani
Cape bunting, Emberiza capensisNature's Valley
Nature's Valley is a holiday resort and small village on the Garden Route along the southern Cape coast of South Africa. Nature's Valley lies between the Salt River, the foothills of the Tsitsikamma Mountains, the Indian Ocean and the Groot River lagoon. Nature's Valley has a balmy climate and is surrounded by the de Vasselot Nature Reserve which is part of the Tsitsikamma Park, and in turn part of the Garden Route National Park.Palaeospiza bella
Palaeospiza bella is a bird which was originally considered a Passerine but is now included in Mousebirds or Coliiformes. Palaeospiza bella fossils have been found in what is now North America from the late Eocene.Red-backed mousebird
The red-backed mousebird (Colius castanotus) is a species of bird in the Coliidae family.
It is found in Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The name mousebird is based on bird's soft feathers with texture similar to a mouse's fur. The red-backed mousebird got its name from the red or chestnut color patch on its back.Red-faced mousebird
The red-faced mousebird (Urocolius indicus) is a species of mousebird or coly. It is a common in southern Africa from Zaire, Zambia and Tanzania south to the Cape. Its habitat is savanna with thickets, fynbos scrub, other open woodland, gardens and orchards.This bird is about 34 cm (13 inches) long, with the tail comprising approximately half the length. The crested head and breast are pale cinnamon with a red bill and eye mask. The rest of the upperparts and tail are blue-grey apart from a paler grey rump. The belly is whitish. The sexes are similar, but juveniles lack the crest and have a green mask. Their call is tree-ree-ree whistle, and regularly called in multiple repetitions. Red-faced mousebirds make the same call whether in-flight or perched.The red-faced mousebird is a frugivore which subsists on fruits, berries, leaves, seeds and nectar. Its flight is typically fast, strong and direct from one feeding area to another.
This is a social bird outside the breeding season, feeding together in small groups, normally of about half a dozen birds, but sometimes up to 15 or more. They fly and interact in tight collections. It engages in mutual preening and roosts in groups at night. It is more wary than other mousebirds.
These sedentary birds breed between June to February. The nest is a large untidy cup of plant material lined with material such as sheep wool. The clutch is 2-6 eggs which hatch in about two weeks.Sibley-Monroe checklist 4
The Sibley-Monroe checklist was a landmark document in the study of birds. It drew on extensive DNA-DNA hybridisation studies to reassess the relationships between modern birds.Speckled mousebird
The speckled mousebird (Colius striatus) is the largest species of mousebird, as well as one of the most common.U. macrourus
U. macrourus may refer to:
Urocolius macrourus, the blue-naped mousebird, a bird species
Urotriorchis macrourus, the long-tailed hawk, a bird of prey speciesUrocolius
Urocolius is a small genus of mousebirds. It consists of two species which inhabit Eastern and Southern Africa:
Blue-naped mousebird, Urocolius macrourus
Red-faced mousebird, Urocolius indicusThey are typically about 32 cm (13 in) long omnivorous birds, eating insects, small millipedes and plant material. Urocolius indicus in particular eats a great deal of fruit, leaves, buds, flowers, nectar and similar material."Urocolius" archiaci, "U." consobrinus and "U." paludicola are 3 taxa described from fragmentary Early Miocene remains found at Saint-Gérand-le-Puy in France. Their taxonomic history is convoluted, being initially described as woodpeckers and variously merged and split. Today it is believed that they at least 2 belong into a prehistoric genus Limnatornis, but sometimes they are all united under the first of the 3 names although it is not clear with what justification. The same rationales presumably apply for undescribed but similar remains found in Late Miocene strata af Kohfidisch (Austria).White-backed mousebird
The white-backed mousebird (Colius colius) is a large species of mousebird. It is distributed in western and central regions of southern Africa from Namibia and southern Botswana eastwards to Central Transvaal and the eastern Cape.
This mousebird prefers scrubby dry habitats, such as thornveld, fynbos scrub and semi-desert.
This bird is about 34 cm (13.5 in) long, with the tail comprising approximately half the length, and weighs 38–64 g (1.3–2.3 oz). The upper parts, head, prominent crest and breast are grey apart from a white back stripe flanked by two broad black stripes and a dark red, or maroon, transverse band at the base of the tail. The white is not visible unless the wings are at least partly open, such as when the birds are alighting, or sometimes in hot weather. The belly is buff in colour. The bill is bluish white with a black tip, and the legs and feet are red.
The speckled mousebird can be distinguished from this species by its differently coloured beak, legs and upperparts.
The white-backed mousebird is a frugivore which subsists on fruits, berries, leaves, seeds and nectar. It also will feed on the buds of some plants, sometimes to the extent of stripping the branches of ornamentals such as fiddlewoods. Its feeding habits make it very unpopular with fruit farmers and domestic gardeners, which might be why it is very shy as a rule. When it spots a human it either sits quietly in a tree or takes off immediately. Sometimes it will settle on lawns when the grass is flowering and feed on the grass stigmata and stamens. In the wild its fruit-eating habits are an important factor in disseminating seeds of indigenous berry-producing plants such as Halleria lucida. However, it also spreads the seeds of invasive aliens such as Cotoneaster.
In handling mousebirds the tail should be avoided, as the long retrices come out so easily as to suggest that it is a sacrificial defence mechanism.
This is a markedly social bird, with small groups of presumably related birds feeding together and engaging in mutual preening. It roosts in groups at night. Its perching habits are amusingly parrot-like; it often almost hangs from its legs rather than squatting on them like most birds, and commonly with each leg gripping a different upright branch.
These sedentary birds may breed at any time of the year when conditions are favourable. The nest is a large cup well hidden in a thicket. Nestlings are fed by both parents and also by helpers, usually young birds from previous clutches.
The white-backed mousebird has a whistled zwee-wewit call. It also has a buzzing or crackling call that might be for alarm or keeping in contact with the group.
The white-backed mousebird (Colius colius) is a large species of mousebird.White-headed mousebird
The white-headed mousebird (Colius leucocephalus) is a bird belonging to the mousebird family, Coliidae. It is found only in east Africa where it occurs in southern Somalia and parts of Kenya with its range just extending into southern Ethiopia and northern Tanzania. It inhabits arid bushland up to 1,400 metres above sea-level.
It is 32 cm long with the long, graduated tail accounting for over half of this. The plumage is mainly greyish with black and white barring on the back, neck and breast. It has a white crest, crown and cheeks. There is a white stripe down the back which becomes visible when the bird flies. Around the eye is a patch of dark, bare skin. The bill is bluish-white above and buff below. In juvenile birds, the throat and breast are buff. The northern subspecies (C. l. turneri) is darker than the southern form (C. l. leucocephalus).
The contact call is a scratchy chattering and the bird also has a descending song.Wildlife of Nigeria
The wildlife of Nigeria consists of the flora and fauna of this country in West Africa. Nigeria has a wide variety of different habitats, ranging from mangrove swamps and tropical rainforest to savanna with scattered clumps of trees. About 290 species of mammal and 940 species of bird have been recorded in the country.