Skip to main content

Oxpecker

B. africanus
There are two species of Oxpecker, the appropriately named Red-Billed (B. erythrorhynchus) and Yellow-Billed (B. africanus). Both are found throughout the open habitats of Sub-Saharan Africa, though the Red-Billed tends to live more on the eastern half of the Continent.

Oxpeckers are named after their primary activity- pecking parasites and dead skin off of various hoofed mammals. Buffalo, Rhinos, Impalas, Giraffes, and an several other species are living buffets for these colorful beaked birds. Domesticated livestock also benefit from the relationship.
B. erythrorhynchus on a Giraffe

Oxpeckers are astounding because they can eat as many as 400 adult ticks in a single day, and up to 150,000 in a year! They can also consume tens of thousands of larvae over the course of the day as well! Their large beaks allow them to eat bigger parasites, and to curb the spread of parasite-borne illnesses. The birds are even being reintroduced to areas where they were once locally extinct, because of the positive effects they can have on keeping things like Heartwater Disease away.

Both species of Oxpecker are gregarious, and they typically breed during the  rainy season. Nests are built in tree cavities and lined with vegetation. 2-5 eggs are laid at a time.

IUCN Status : Least Concern
Location : Sub-Saharan Africa
Size : Length up to 8in (21cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Aves -- Order : Passeriformes
Family : Buphagidae -- Genus : Buphagus

Comments

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Greater Kudu

Tragelaphus strepsiceros The Greater Kudu is one of the largest Antelope species out there, which the largest males standing over 5ft tall at the shoulder and weighing over 600lbs. They sport horns that equally as impressive in size-- the record is 72in. You'll find the Greater Kudus in southern and eastern Africa, where they inhabit scrub woodlands. Their brown coloration and white stripes allow them to remain camouflaged within these woody surroundings. The Kudus are most active at dawn and dusk, and spend the daytime hours hidden in these forested areas. However, their stripes are not their only defensive mechanism; they also sport very large ears that allow them to hear approaching danger. When alerted, the Antelope can try and bound away to safety. Female Greater Kudus tend to live in moderately sized groups with other females and offspring. Most mature males are solitary, and will only join up with these herds during the breeding period that corresponds with the end

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a

Four!

For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!