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Yellow-billed Oxpecker

Yellow-billed Oxpecker
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2016-01-25
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D90, Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/500 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2016-08-17 7:36
Viewed: 2113
Points: 16
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This Yellow-billed Oxpecker was sitting on the back of a donkey.

The Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Buphagus africanus, is a passerine bird in the starling and myna family Sturnidae; some ornithologists regard the Oxpeckers to be a separate family, the Buphagidae (Zuccon, 2006). It is native to the savannah of sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal east to Sudan. It is least common in the extreme east of its range where it overlaps with the Red-billed Oxpecker, despite always dominating that species when feeding.

The Yellow-billed Oxpecker nests in tree holes lined with hair plucked from livestock. It lays 2–3 eggs. Outside the breeding season it is fairly gregarious, forming large, chattery flocks. Non-breeding birds will roost on their host animals at night.

The Yellow-billed Oxpecker eats insects and ticks. Both the English and scientific names arise from this species' habit of perching on large wild and domesticated mammals such as cattle and eating arthropod parasites. In a day an adult will take more than 100 engorged female Boophilus decoloratus ticks or 13,000 larvae.
However, their preferred food is blood, and while they may take ticks bloated with blood, they also feed on it directly (Feare 2003), pecking at the mammal's wounds. So the good the bird does to the mammal may be negated by its keeping the wounds open to parasites and disease. Whatever the net result, mammals generally tolerate oxpeckers (Feare 2003).
The Yellow-billed Oxpecker is 20 cm long and has plain brown upperparts and head, buff underparts and a pale rump. The feet are strong. The adults' bills are yellow and the base and red at the tip, while juveniles have brown bills. Its flight is strong and direct. The call is a hissy crackling krisss, krisss.

Source: Wikipedia

marius-secan, pierrefonds, Hotelcalifornia, CeltickRanger has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2016-08-17 9:17]

Hi Peter,a soft ground made by the donkey for this magnificent species that i haven't seen there.Very good capture despite the distance,bright beak colors and fine details too,well done! Have a nice evening and thanks,Luciano

hallo Peter
super mooie foto met prachtige kleuren en goed van scherpte
bedankt weer gr lou

Hello Peter,
A very nice and interesting bird. It is indeed very close to the starling family. This has the same habits like the starling collecting the insects and the larvae from the domesticated mammals.
Excellent details and colors.

Ciao Peter, great capture of lovely bird in nice pose on unusual BG, fine details, splendid sharpness and wonderful natural colors, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

Hi Peter,

The donkey is helping to frame the bird. The point of view is showing the details of the Yellow-billed Oxpecker. The good luminosity is giving nice tints to the colors. Have a nice day.


Hello Peter,
Excellent photograph of this Yellow-Billed Oxpeacker. I haven't seen such clear, close and well detailed Oxpecker photograph before. Very well photographed. Good DOF and BG.
Thanks for sharing with useful NOTE,
Regards and have a nice WE,

Hello Peter

Great close-up shot of this species of bird with its expressive pose and glance,
fine POV, lovely light, great focus, sharpness, details, and contrast, TFS


Hello Peter,
Nice click, beautiful bird, thank you for sharing,

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