White-backed Mousebird | Colius colius

Robert's Birding Information: Whitebacked Mousebird

The White-backed Mousebird is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Meropidae bird family group which includes birds such as Bee eaters.

The description for the White-backed Mousebird (Latin name Colius colius) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Colius colius can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 425 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 196. You will find a picture of the White-backed Mousebird on page 161.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the White-backed Mousebird between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition.

The White-backed Mousebird is known in Afrikaans as Witkruismuisvo?l.

The White-backed Mousebird is Endemic to the Southern African Region which means that this bird is only found in this region and nowhere else in the world.

The White-backed Mousebird has a height of 31 cms and weighs around 44 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured blue. The Colius colius has a grey coloured throat, red legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is grey.

Eyes are brown.

Bill is blue.

Legs are red.

Throat is grey.

Back is grey.

Whitebacked Mouse Bird Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

The White-backed Mousebird is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage.

The Colius colius forages mainly on the ground or at the base of trees, and low down in the shrubs eating mostly fruits and seeds.

The bird also drinks nectar from flowers high up in the tree canopy.

White Backed Mousebird Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The White-backed Mousebird is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 to 6 eggs and they are coloured white.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foliage.

The White-backed Mousebird is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is found in the arid and semi-arid regions of Southern Africa and it can withstand high day and night temperatures.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams.

The bird is an urban dweller as well, being at home in parks, gardens and in old vacated buildings.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks.