Ever seen a mouse scurry through leaves? Here’s the winged version of the story
Sub-Saharan Africa is a semi-tropical paradise as far as unique and exquisite bird populations are concerned, and one such genus wholly confined to the region is Urocolius. Fun fact alert: these soft and tender-looking mousebirds were previously bracketed under woodpeckers but later split from the group due to characteristic distinctions like long, slender tails.
Since Urocolius mousebirds are arboreal (living in trees) in nature, they pull most of their nutrition from leaves, flowers, nectar, and some insects. Again, you’d be surprised, but there’s a famous analogy relating rodents (mice, rats, squirrels, etc.) and these birds using their leaf-scurrying practices during their food search. So, finally, the name ‘mousebirds’ makes sense now!