The avian critter donning a lengthy tail and predominantly white feathers sports an eye-catching combo of rosy facial skin and a shiny blue spot, making for a striking visual contrast.
Introducing the Blue-Naped Mousebird! This fascinating bird is a unique species worth getting to know.
Meet the delightful blue-naped mousebird (Urocolius macrourus), a charming little bird that typically measures just over a foot in length. One of its most distinctive features is the long tail, as well as the striking turquoise-blue patch on the back of its neck. Fully grown adult birds boast grey-white to ash brown feathers, a noteworthy crest atop their head, and a black-red bill that’s topped off by the beautiful blue nape.
The younger individuals of this particular type do not have a blue nape and instead possess pink skin on their face. In addition, their beaks are tinged with green rather than red. What sets them apart from other birds is their ability to rotate all four toes to the front, which enables them to feed while upside down, grip their food using their feet, and perch at peculiar angles.
The Blue-naped Mousebirds can be found in various areas from the western coast of Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia towards the East, and then further South through East Africa until they reach the eastern borders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
These avians have a preference for semi-arid and parched environments found in different parts of East Africa, with a particular liking for bush and expanses of open woodlands.
Blue-naped Mousebirds, just like other mousebird species, primarily consume fruits, berries, leaves, buds, flowers, nectar, and seeds. They have been known to ingest soil and stones that aid in breaking down vegetation for better digestion.
The Blue-naped Mousebird is a type of bird that can mate all year round. Despite their small size, they build nests that are relatively spacious. Both the male and the female work together to create the nest using pieces of vegetation, animal material, and other things they find in their surroundings, like cloth and paper. Once the nest is ready, the female lays up to 7 eggs which take roughly 2 weeks to incubate. The parents, along with helpers (often previous offspring), help to raise the chicks. These young birds usually leave the nest at around 17-18 days old and become self-reliant by the time they are about 1 month old.
The IUCN Red List has categorized these birds as being of Least Concern.
The bird featured in the video below can be observed by you.