Red-billed Oxpeckers and Cape Buffalo. usually live in a symbiotic relationship. The Buffalo provide the ticks filled with blood and the Oxpeckers rid the Buffalo of the annoying parasites.
But sometimes the small birds turn themselves into ‘vampires’. If the Buffalo (or any other large herbivore) has any bleeding injury (eg from a large thorn or from an abandoned predator attack) then the Oxpeckers often continue to peck at the open wound for a continuous blood stream.
They love feasting on the fresh blood without ‘tick packaging’ ! When eating ticks their target is actually the blood which the ticks had extracted from their host animal.
… is the term for an old Cape Buffalo bull who is no longer with a herd. As this specimen demonstrated last night at Thanda, such bulls love to wallow in mud as means to cool down and to give them some protection from parasites and the sun.
Such solitary bulls are extremely dangerous as they are notoriously bad tempered and ready to attack at any time.
This is the view from the waterhole-deck at Thanda Safari’s Villa iZulu – While my guests were relaxing while watching the wildlife come and go a few Cape Buffalo bulls were also relaxing around the water.
This morning I had my favorite Buffalo sighting, ever! My guests enjoyed this energetic Bull Fight – African Style. I was able to shoot many good images and this short video clip with one of my favorite tunes from the overture of George Bizet’s opera Carmen as soundtrack.
After a day in the office I decided to spend an hour before sunset at Mgankla dam. It was very quiet at the waterhole so I decided to listen to an audio book. After about 30 minutes all by myself I heard a slight rumble. It was the start of a large herd of Cape Buffalo arriving for evening drinks.
This is my favorite picture from this evening taken with my iPhone.