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Oxpeckers, Red Billed

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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MarkWildDog
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Oxpeckers, Red Billed

Unread postby MarkWildDog » Mon Nov 06, 2006 5:27 pm

Red Billed Oxpecker
(Buphagus erythrorhynchus)

ID Pointers:
- Large yellow circle around eye.
- Grey-brown head & back.
- Light grey-brown wings & tail.
- Grey legs & feet.
- Pale yellow feathers on underside.
- Short red bill.

Diet:
Ticks, flies, fleas, dead host skin.

Eggs & Nests:
In a hole in a tree. Females lay 1-5 eggs in each clutch. Both parents incubate eggs.

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Unread postby MarkWildDog » Mon Nov 06, 2006 5:29 pm

On the H11:

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DuQues
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Unread postby DuQues » Mon Nov 06, 2006 6:06 pm

Near Orpen, on a White Rhino:
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Arriving currently: The photos from our trip! Overhere! :yaya:

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Unread postby Toddelelfe » Mon Nov 06, 2006 9:10 pm

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Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Mon Nov 06, 2006 9:14 pm

Great shots Duco, Impisi08. I especially enjoyed the image of the young bird with adult.

I composed a bit of a overview of the RBOP and then saw that MARK CHOWLES had already posted the info in bullet format. :oops: Well I am not going to chuck my work away... Appologies, MARK CHOWLES!

Physical characteristics:

The Red-billed Oxpecker is a medium-sized passerine, 20 cm long with strong feet. It has plain brown upperparts and head, buff underparts and a pale rump. The bill is red, and adults have a yellow eyering, both clear distinctions from the related Yellow-billed Oxpecker. Their flight is strong and direct, and the call is a coarse, hissy truk-quizzz.

Distribution and habitat:

They have suffered persecution in the past and disappeared, as did many of their large mammal hosts, from many places in their original range, a broad distribution across sub-Saharan Africa. Now they are common residents in game reserves, but scarce elsewhere.

Behavior:

Association with large mammal hosts runs deep into oxpeckers' lives: they travel with the herds, feed almost exclusively on their parasites, rest and preen, court and mate on them and may even sleep on them at night. BROs use their strong feet to cling onto their hosts and apply their bills to make quick scissoring movements combing through the hair.

Image

They also spend lots of time working deep in the ears (sometimes only the tail shows) or around the muzzle, eyes or nose of their hosts. Most hoofed animals seem indifferent to this foraging but elephants and a few species of antelope will not tolerate them. BROs spend most of their lives on their hosts, using them for protection from predators (such as moving to the back side of the animal when approached) and sitting on them to roost and preen.

Image

Diet:

They forage in small flocks on large mammals eating ticks, fleas, flies, adult and larvae alike, and other parasites which lodge in mammalian skin and must be dug out. An adult will take about 100 bloated female ticks, or 10,000 larvae in a day. They also consume wound tissue, blood and other secretions. The BRO will also clean wounds, but its useful parasite control is partially negated by its tendency to keep wounds open or create new ones.

Breeding and nesting:

They make their nests in holes, often in trees, built with dung and lined with hair plucked from their hosts and they lay 2-5 eggs, but on average three eggs. BROs are gregarious and breed semi-colonially and cooperatively.

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Peter Betts
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Red Billed Oxpecker

Unread postby Peter Betts » Sun Sep 23, 2007 6:40 pm

We weren't far enough North this trip to get a chance to see a Yellow Billed Oxpecker but we saw plenty of these Red Billed variety and a flock used to roost every night next to our tent at Tambotie Camp

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Unread postby Nannie » Fri Dec 07, 2007 2:03 pm

Colleting hair for their nest off a bush-buck,the one O.P.'s beak is full of hair, seen on the S28.

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Unread postby Muhammad » Sun Mar 09, 2008 10:02 pm

Pecking away on the S30,Jan 2008
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Unread postby lirritma » Sun Jun 15, 2008 6:29 pm

I know this is more a Kruger discussion, but I've spotted these in Addo during the year. It has always been in the Gorah area and around Carol's Rest.

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Unread postby j-ms » Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:20 pm

Gerrit, these are Red-billed Oxpeckers. In the past when they had been re-introduced, Addo management wanted us to report sightings of them but now there are more regular sightings, including areas outside of Addo such as the private game reserves in the Bushmans river areas.

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Unread postby lirritma » Mon Jun 16, 2008 12:13 pm

j-ms wrote:Gerrit, these are Red-billed Oxpeckers.


:lol: Thanks Mark for pointing it out ... just saw the Oxpecker bit and missed the Red part. :lol: Still nice to see in Addo though
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Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Niall » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:01 pm

I'd be interested to hear what people think of this bird's ID:

Image

Seen in Mkhuze.

Cheers

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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:53 pm

Interesting pix... My first impression is that it is a young bird, red-billed oxpecker. Apart from that I'll need to do lots of research to back up what my gut-feel is...

I'm keen to seen what other opinions come up
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Re: Identification Help - LBJs

Unread postby deefstes » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:40 pm

@Niall:

Definitely a juvenile Red-billed Oxy.
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Re: Oxpeckers, Red Billed

Unread postby Skopsie » Sun Feb 22, 2009 10:57 pm

Saw this one near Letaba camp.

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