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Mousebird


Mousebird
Photo Information
Copyright: Steve Coetzee (SteveCoetzee) Silver Note Writer [C: 9 W: 0 N: 66] (863)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2014-12-07
Categories: Birds
Exposure: f/5.1, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2014-12-08 12:32
Viewed: 1979
Points: 2
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
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 little bird left its nest for the first time only a few hours before but shows the typical attitude in which mousebirds hang in trees.
They were breeding in a Ponytail palm (Beaucarnea recurvataI) at my front door and I was lucky enough to watch them leave the nest for the first time.
This mousebird prefers scrubby dry habitats, such as thornveld, fynbos scrub and semi-desert.
This bird is about 34 cm (13 inches) long, with the tail comprising approximately half the length, and weighs 3864 g (1.32.3 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 white-backed mousebird is a frugivore which subsides 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 quiet in a tree or takes off immediately. Sometimes it will settle quietly on lawns when the grass is flowering and feed on the grass stigmata and stamens. In the wild its fruit-eating habits make it an important factor in disseminating seeds of indigenous berry-bearing 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.
Info with thanks From: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

tuslaw, Chiza has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2014-12-08 19:02]

Hello Steve,
A new bird for me and a beautiful one at that. I find it very interesting the way they hang from branches like this. You have done a fine job of photographing this particular specimen and presenting it in excellent detail. It actually reminds me somewhat of the Tufted Titmouse that we have here in Ohio.
White balance looks great, rendering the colors true and natural and exposure is right on the money. A wonderful capture!!
Ron

  • Great 
  • Chiza Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 133 W: 0 N: 474] (5351)
  • [2015-06-25 8:02]

Hola Steve; hermosa foto de esta bella ave deconocida para mi, me gusta mucho la pose, el entorno, el manejo de la luz y color pero sobre todo la nitidez...saludos

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