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Red-Faced Mousebird (Urocolius indicus) Photographed in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa.

Red-Faced Mousebird

(Urocolius indicus)

The Red-faced is one of six species of Mousebirds, all of which are native to Sub-Saharan Africa. The weird thing about mousebirds is that they have no close living relatives, which has earned them their own order classification: Coliiformes. This also gives them the distinction of being the only bird order entirely confined to the continent of Africa.

Weirder still is that these six species are the only remaining survivors of a diverse array of mousebirds which existed in prehistoric times. Most fossil remains are found in Europe, which is apparently where they evolved.

They were dubbed mousebirds because of the rodent-like way that the scurry along branches in search of berries and fruits.

Photographed in Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa.

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