One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A brown African bird related to the starlings, feeding on parasites that infest the skins of large grazing mammals.
Genus Buphagus, family Sturnidae (or Buphagidae): two species
- ‘Clouds of oxpeckers chirp above the buffalo, while cattle egrets, a series of white splashes, rise and fall at their feet.’
- ‘The red-billed oxpecker keeps ticks and other vermin from the skin.’
- ‘I have been involved with redbilled oxpeckers since 1996, when the project to bring them into our area started.’
- ‘We were on our second day, descended a hill when we spotted four redbilled oxpeckers riding a white rhino, busily probing folds of skin, ears and even nostrils for ticks, their primary food source.’
- ‘Then of course there were redbilled oxpeckers riding a white rhino and de-ticking as only oxpeckers know how.’
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