Red-billed Oxpecker

Buphagus erythrorhynchus

Red-billed Oxpecker, Buphagus erythrorhynchus, photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed at Mtembur River, West Pokot, Kenya. July 2015.

From Wikipedia: 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. The birds will also feed on blood from open wounds and may work to keep them open for that purpose.

Sturnidae -- Starling Family

Books Available for Sale on ABE Books:

  • Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania by Zimmerman et al.
  • Birds of East Africa by Stevenson and Fanshawe

More Information:


Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 25 May 2015.