Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Post number 5 on the birds I saw in Southern Africa.

Cattle egret (Bubulcus ibis) seen on buffalo.  Botswana.

 Squacco Heron (Ardeola ralloides).

Little egret (Egretta garzetta).  Botswana.

Yellow-billed Egret (Ardea brachyrhyncha). This is the only photo I managed so hope the identification is correct.  Botswana.

Red-billed oxpecker (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) on a giraffe. They feed almost exclusively on ticks or insects collected from the skin of large African mammals. See notes below on the Yellow-billed oxpecker.  KwaZulu-Natal...

Red-billed on a wildebeest. Botswana...

As above on an Impala. KwaZulu-Natal.

The yellow-billed oxpecker, (Buphagus africanus), is from the starling and myna family. It feeds exclusively from the backs of large mammals, eating ticks and insects on their hides. It is good for the animals and provides food for the birds, a win-win arrangement as with the cattle egrets.!

The red-billed spurfowl (Pternistis adspersus), also known as the red-billed francolin. Botswana.

The spur-winged goose (Plectropterus gambensis). Botswana.

As above.

The red-billed teal or red-billed duck (Anas erythrorhyncha).


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32 comments:

  1. Love the birds and mammals together. We could learn a lot from the animals.

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    1. Thanks Marie, so right we could learn a lot from animals but man always thinks they know best!! Cheers Diane

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  2. The oxpeckers are a "two for"; get a bird and a beast for the same price! Amazing!

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    1. I was fascinated by these birds, if only man could learn to get along so well!!! Cheers Diane

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  3. Amazing collection of birds. I love how the Red-billed oxpecker picks it's food off the giraffe and at the same time brings welcome relief to the giraffe who can't pick the insects off itself.

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    1. Penny I do love the African birds and there win/win arrangement is something we could all learn by! Hope you are feelin better than you have in the past month or so. Take care, Diane

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    2. Thanks Diane. I do seem to have finally recovered from the cold. Warmer temperatures have helped a lot. As for the losses, they take time to heal. I hope you too are feeling much better and your cough is abating.

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  4. The Oxpecker seems like a good bird to have around to take care of those irritating ticks and insects on animals. Interesting post!

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    1. Brilliant combination of animal and bird life looking after each other. Glad you enjoyed the post. Cheers Diane

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  5. Beautiful photos of our lovely birds, Diane. These photos are making me very homesick for the bush.

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    1. There must be somewhere close by that you can drive to for a couple of days. I miss the bush also. Cheers Diane

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    1. Thanks Pam, hope you enjoyed this blog. Take care Diane

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  7. There are plenty of places I can go to Diane, but I have four dogs and one cat as well as the house that I cannot leave and also nowhere is free to go to and money is something I don't have.

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    1. Kim that is the reason we have no animals at present having had them all our lives. For you though living alone in South Africa the dogs are a must. The closest place to you is about 300 kms so not within distance to take a day drive. Wish I could help, Diane

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  8. How interesting! I love your Red-billed oxpecker.

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    1. Thanks Connie, the oxpecker's are interesting birds. Have a good weekend Diane

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  9. More super images and information, Diane, although only its mother could love that Spur-winged Goose! I'm not sure, but I suspect that your second image is of a Squacco Heron rather than a Cattle Egret.

    Have a great weekend. With my very best wishes - - - Richard

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    1. Richard, I have to agree re the goose, but it is still an improvement on the Marabou stork in the last post!

      You are absolutely right about the stork, thanks for pointing it out and the correction has been made much appreciated.

      Hope that you have a good weekend, cheers Diane.

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  10. Thanks Diane. I escape into the National Geographic African wildlife channels on TV.

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    1. Glad you have somewhere to escape to, we do not get many of those channels here :-(( Take care Diane

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  11. Ah! Birds doing what it says on the package. Cattle Egrets and Oxpeckers. The red-billed spurfowl is rather interesting as we have nothing like that here.

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    1. Thanks Phil. Now what would the animals do with out those useful birds :-) Have a great day Diane

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  12. Great photos Diane, I enjoyed looking at all those interesting birds from your time in Africa. Thank you :)

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    1. Thanks Denise, glad you enjoyed some of the African birds we saw last February. Cheers Diane

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  13. I have wanted to see an oxpecker for ages - I think I first saw them on BBC documentaries as a kid!

    Sorry its taken me so long to visit, things have been pretty hectic here!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. They are fascinating birds Stewart and do a fantastic job. Busy here as well, I am struggling to keep up. House needs redecorating after the flood from the broken pipe to the bathroom tap, and the garden HAS to be ready ASAP for planting now it has warmend up. Too wet to dig it before! Pretty frantic. Cheers Diane

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  14. Wow...such beautiful shots. I love that. Thanks for sharing some of your shots for Africa.

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    1. Pam there are some really interesting birds in Africa and it is good, that like the oxpecker, they do a good job for the animals. Have a good day Diane

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  15. Africa has some beautiful birds and one or two ugly one's too 😀 Enjoyed going back and looking from the beginning Diane. Sounds like things are really hectic for you right now. The weather seems to be warming up but it sounds like you're still getting quite a lot of rain. Makes it harder to get things done. Try not to exhaust yourself, it's surprising how that creeps up on you ✨

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    1. Thanks Grace I am glad you have enjoyed going back over the posts. As you say there are some beautiful and some interesting birds in Africa, and then along comes a couple of ugly ones that bring you back to earth again!!
      We really have to get the garden done so I can plant, we are running late this year because of the rain!! Years back it used to be easy but as the years go by it certainly gets more difficult expecially with a rubbish back!!
      Take care Diane

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  16. Fantastic pics, Diane. Thank you for posting.

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Thanks so much for commenting, it is appreciated and it is my policy to try to answer every one even if only to say thank you.