Colius striatus Gmelin, 1789, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa. Nineteen subspecies.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Speckled mousebird; French: Coliou striй, coliou rayй; German: Gestreifter Mausvogel, Braunflьgel-Mausvogel; Spanish: Pбjaro-ratуn Comъn.
10.2–14.2 in (26–36 cm); 1.3–2.8 oz (36–80 g). Feathers are mostly gray-brown, but the transverse bands are not distinct in all subspecies. The more southerly subspecies have bills with an entirely black upper mandible and a silver-gray lower mandible; in the northerly subspecies, there is a white spot on top of the upper mandible. Eastern African subspecies are also characterized by white feathers at the sides of the head, which give them the name, white-eared mousebirds. Color of iris varies from white to brown and greenish; the color may also differ above or below the pupil.
Nigeria to Eritrea, Somalia, across the Congo to northern Angola, and from eastern Africa to the western Cape.
Forest edge, riverine forest, open woodland, and dense brush, as well as cultivated land, secondary growth, gardens, and parks.
Live mostly in family groups, highly sedentary.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Fruits, buds, and leaves, and crops in cultivation and in human settlements.
Breeding throughout the year if conditions are good, and in areas with dry seasons when food is available.
Not threatened, even spreading in cultivated areas as observed in southern and eastern Africa.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Not liked by humans because they cause damage to orchards and gardens.
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