The Red-billed Oxpecker (Afrikaans name Rooibekrenostervoel) is a common resident of the savannah and woodland areas, normally found around game and cattle. Feeds off of parasites and blood. We found these cleaning an open wound on a buffalo at Mala Mala Game Reserve.

This bird is smaller than a dove and removes insects from the skin by a scissors-like action or by plucking them from the skin. They also remove wound tissue.

These birds are not afraid of the animals that they feed off of and they clean everywhere, eye, ears, skin.

They build their nests in the hollow of a tree.

They draw attention to themselves by their loud hissing calls uttered whilst feeding on an animal or while in flight.

Ox-pecker, red-bill with juv

The juvenile does not yet have the red bill. We observed them in Mala Mala and in the Kruger National Park

2 Comments

  1. Lisl Barry
    16 February 2018

    To whom it may concern,

    Please could you let me know or put me in contact with the photographer who took the photo above the caption “These birds are not afraid of the animals that they feed off of and they clean everywhere, eye, ears, skin.”

    Thank you kindly.

    Kind regards,
    Lisl

    Reply
    • admin
      19 March 2018

      Dear Lisl

      All the photographs are taken by us

      Regards
      Pat

      Reply

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