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Lunch time

Lunch time
Photo Information
Copyright: Willem Botha (whjb) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 51 W: 26 N: 172] (683)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-07-25
Categories: Birds
Camera: Olympus E-300, Sigma 55-200mm 1:4-5.6 DC, 55mm UV Filter
Exposure: f/8, 1/125 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-01-16 13:41
Viewed: 6314
Points: 12
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Red-billed Oxpecker, Buphagus erythrorhynchus, is a passerine bird in the starling and myna family Sturndidae. It is native to the savannah of sub-Saharan Africa, from the Central African Republic east to Sudan and south to northern and eastern South Africa..

The Red-billed Oxpecker nests in tree holes lined with hair plucked from livestock. It lays 2-5, average 3, eggs. Outside the breeding season it forms large, chattery flocks.

The preferred habitat is open country, and the Red-billed Oxpecker eats insects. Both the English and scientific names arise from this species' habit of perching on large wild and domesticated mammals such as cattle and eating ticks. An adult will take nearly 100 engorged female Boophilus decoloratus ticks, or more than 12,000 larvae in a day.

However, their most favorite food is blood, and while they may take on ticks bloated with blood, they also feed on it directly, pecking at the mammal's wounds to keep them open to more parasites. So, what the bird does good to the mammal, is negated by it keeping the wounds open to parasites and disease.

This is a medium-sized passerine, 20 cm long with strong feet. The Red-billed Oxpecker has plain brown upperparts and head, buff underparts and a pale rump. The bill is red, and adults have a yellow eyering, both clear distinctions from the related Yellow-billed Oxpecker. Its flight is strong and direct, and the call is a hissy crackling trik-quisss.

The photo was taken in the Kruger National Park, South Africa and the bird was sitting on an impala.

ayk55, Argus, shal, Dyker, JoseMiguel, jaycee, hester has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-01-16 15:14]

Hello Willem,
This shot of the Red-billed Oxpecker is well composed and presented on its host, though perhaps a little soft at the head, showing a little miss on the focusing.
Nice to see, though.
TFS and regards,

  • Great 
  • shal Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 256 W: 64 N: 481] (2140)
  • [2007-01-16 16:35]

Hi Willem,
haha apt Caption,
lovely framing and composition,
great post :)
Cheers :D

  • Great 
  • Dyker Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 136 W: 0 N: 57] (170)
  • [2007-01-16 18:01]

Hello Willem
Sjoe, this was real close. This bird has no manners riding along on its lunch. Nice sharp focus, good colours and composition. I never knew this lovely bird is a cousin of a pesky indian mynah. Maybe you should send a couple of these to sort out those guys who caused all the trouble for Herschell.

Hello Willem,
Wonderful capture of this colorful bird!
He looks like so firm on the mammal, and their pose let us enjoy the stunning eyes and color beak.
You managed an excellent POV.
Congratulations, thanks for share and best regards,

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-01-17 11:17]

Hi WIllem,

What an interesting looking bird this is. Love the beak and matching eye! I like the way you caught him on the animal.


  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2007-01-21 11:27]

Wonderful capture with fine details. I love the way the fur is being pushed down under the weight of the bird. Great composition and POV



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