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Oxpecker

Oxpeckers
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Passeriformes
Family†:Sturnidae
Genera
Buphagus
† See also myna, starling

The oxpeckers are part of the family Sturndidae, along with the starlings and mynas. This is a group of passerine birds native to sub-Saharan African savannah.

They are medium-sized passerines with strong feet. Their flight is strong and direct, and they are fairly gregarious. Their preferred habitat is open country, and they eat insects. Both the English and scientific names arise from their habit of perching on large wild and domesticated mammals such as cattle and eating ticks.

Their plumage is light brown, and the species can be distinguished by bill-colour. They nest in holes.

The species are:

  • Red-billed Oxpecker, Buphagus erythrorhynchus of east Africa
  • Yellow-billed Oxpecker, Buphagus africanus of most of sub-saharan Africa.



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