The Mystery Bird “Yellow-Billed Oxpecker”

The yellow-billed oxpecker “Buphagus africanus” is a beautiful passerine bird in the starling and myna family, Sturnidae. The name “oxpecker” is related to their habit of perching on large wild and domestic mammals. The yellow-billed oxpecker is 20 cm long and has plain brown upperparts and head, buff underparts and a pale rump. In a day an adult bird will take more than 100 engorged female Boophilus decoloratus ticks or 13,000 larvae. It frequently occurs in association with wild and domestic large mammals. The species often roosts in trees close to these animals, or even on buffaloes’ back at night. The Yellow-billed oxpeckers live in small flocks and can be found at sea-level or in mountains as high as 9,800 feet. These African mystery birds are engaged in a rare behavior, even nesting on the back of a live Cape buffalo.
Some ornithologists regard the oxpeckers to be a separate family, the Buphagidae. It is least common in the extreme east of its range where it overlaps with the r…

Booted Racket-Tail

The booted racket-tail (Ocreatus underwoodii) is a species of hummingbird. It is found in the Andean cordillera of Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. A population also occurs on the Venezuelan coast. This is the only species in the monotypic genus Ocreatus. The upperparts are a golden green colour and the rump has a white bar. The throat and breast are a brilliant emerald green. The legs are feathered down to the feet with horny white short feathers. The tail is brownish black and deeply forked. The tail feathers on either side increase in length from the centre and the outermost ones are exceptionally long and have bare shafts tipped by oval plumes, which gives the species its common name. Source: Anuntual Galben

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