Animals

Blue-Naped Mousebird

by Marcia Malory

The blue-naped mousebird lives in dry areas of Eastern Africa in bush and open forests.

It eats fruits, leaves and flowers.

It is grey with a red and black bill and a turquoise patch on its nape. Its head has a crest.

When the blue-naped mousebird scurries along branches with its long, thin tail trailing behind, it resembles a mouse.

Blue-naped mousebird, photo by Alois StaudacherLike a parrot, it uses its beak to help it climb trees.

It can hang upside down and can eat while in any position.

Moosebirds usually travel in groups of five or six. They climb up and down tree trunks together.

During the breeding season, these groups break up into couples, with each pair building its own nest.

A platform of twigs forms the nest's foundation.

A cup made of woven grass and roots goes on top of the platform.

The cup is lined with grass and leaves.

As the grass and leaves whither, the moosebirds replace them.