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…

The Fire-tailed Sunbird

Some birds are extremely eye-catching to see, and the first word you say “Wow”. The Fire-tailed sunbird is among those birds which have stunning colors of nature. The fire-tailed sunbird “Aethopyga ignicauda” is a species of sunbird in the Nectariniidae family mostly seen in northern parts of Indian subcontinent, and Himalayas and also in some adjoining regions in Southeast Asia i.e., occurs in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand and Tibet. Its natural habitats are temperate forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.

The male bird is 15 cm long, including their long tail, while female bird is about 2/3 in length. The Fire-tailed sunbird likes to live in conifer forests at altitudes upto 4,000 meters descending into the valleys during the cold season. The bird’s foods consist of insects, nectar, etc. and both parents take part in feeding the young. The birds population in large numbers and hence does not reach the thresholds for vulnerable and trend appears to be stable. Therefore, population has not been quantified, though only 10% reduction in last ten years. For these reasons the species is evaluated as least concern.

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