This Red-billed Oxpecker – while sitting on a Cape Buffalo – was indulging himself on ticks with hundreds of Flies buzzing around its head. I like this image, which I shot this morning on my way back from the Thanda Tented Camp to Thanda House.
This Buffalo cow enjoyed her “tick cleaning treatment” given by the Red-billed Oxpeckers. The small birds live in a symbiotic relationship with the large ruminants. The Buffalo provide the ticks and the Oxpeckers the relief.
These Red-billed Oxpeckers take a ride on the back of a Buffalo bull. His tail almost reached the birds when he was swiping it across his back. The bird with the black beak is an Oxpecker chick waiting for some food delivery from the adults 🙂
When I was selecting, sorting and filing the images I took since I arrived at Thanda I came across a few pictures I liked very much, but which did not make it onto my blog at the time. So here are four of these “outtakes”.
The first is of a small bird trying to reach the pollen on a Mountain Aloe. It is a Long-billed Crombec.
The second is of a small Vervet Monkey sunning itself in a tree.
The third is of two juvenile Lions of the Thanda North Pride “staking” a Warthog across a waterhole (for the Warthog lovers among you: the Warthog was never in danger from these two 🙂
The fourth picture is of a bunch of Red-billed Oxpeckers riding on the back of a Buffalo. The Buffalos, like most large mammals, love the Oxpeckers because they eat the Ticks of their back.