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…

Orange-Breasted Sunbird

The orange-breasted sunbird is a small passerine sunbird endemic to South Africa, and is found in shrubland or heathland vegetations called fynbos. Orange-breasted sunbird males average 17 cm long and females 13 cm long. The male's head, throat, and mantle are bright metallic green and the rest of the upper parts are olive green. The upper breast is metallic violet and the rest of the under-side is shades of orange. The female is olive-green on the top-side and olive-yellow on the under-side. These birds have long down-curved bills and brush-tipped tubular tongues. Both of these are adaptations for nectar feeding, the orange-breasted sunbird's primary food source. However, the bird also feeds on insects.

Popular posts from this blog