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 Red-naped Trogon (Harpactes kasumba)

The Red-naped Trogon (Harpactes kasumba) is a species of bird belongs to Trogonidae family. The bird is mostly found in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. Currently, tt is threatened by habitat loss. The male red-naped trogon is actually defined by a black head and upper breast, blue bill and eye ring with a bright blue colored face. The bird has yellow-brown upperparts and upper tail with black outlines, a white breast-line, bright red underparts and the under-tail is black and white. The most defining physical characteristic of the red-naped trogon is a band of bright red feathers around the back of the head, which gives the species its name. The red-naped trogon is a sturdily sexually dimorphic species, with the females usually being duller than the males. Both male and female have a life span of approximately 7.3 years. The females are blander in color than the males, containing of a grey-brown head and upper breast with yellow underparts.

Both the male and female grow in height up to 32 centimeters, or 12.5 inches. However, their legs and feet are short and feeble which makes them inept to walk; in its place they are limited to the occasional shuffle along a branch. The ratio of leg muscle to body weight in all Trogonidae species is only 3%, the lowest known ratio of any bird. Moreover, the arrangement of the toes on Trogonidae species feet is very rare among birds and is arranged with the third and fourth toes projecting forward and the first and second toes projecting backwards, an arrangement recognized as heterodactylous. Because of this arrangement, the red-naped trogon is unable to turn around on a branch if its wings are not aiding the movement.

Both sexes have compact bodies, short wings and a long tail. However the wings are short, they’re quite strong, with the wing muscle ratio being approximately 22% of the body weight. In spite of their strength of flight, red-naped trogons do not fly great distances, generally flying no more than a few hundred metres at a time. The red-naped trogon's song voice is very sluggish, sad-sounding 5 to 8 note “pau pau pau pau pau.” Each short note slightly down slurred (1.5-1.2 kHz) and delivered at a rate of c.1 note/s. Moreover, to the territorial and breeding calls given by males and females during the breeding seasons, though, red-naped trogons have also been recorded as having aggression and alarm calls.
Red-naped trogons are usually inactive outside of their consistent feeding patterns. Because of this, birdwatchers and biologists have observed that apart from their overall attractiveness, they’re infamous for their lack of other immediately engaging qualities. Their lack of activity has been considered a defence against predation. Moreover, high rates of deforestation in the Sundaic lowlands have been very fast, owing to the escalation of illegal logging and land conversion that targets all remaining stands of valuable timber. Furthermore, another impact has also been forest fires that have had a serious damaging effect. Because of these threats, the red-naped trogon has been ranked by Birdlife as a near threatened species (NT). As with other Trogonidae species, red-naped trogons have been reported to shift along branches to retain their dull colored backs turned towards observers, while their heads, which can rotate at 180 degrees similar to owls, are turned to keep watch on any possible predators. They’re preyed upon by hawks and predatory mammals.

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