Posts tagged “Red-billed Oxpecker

Oxpecker Opportunist

Nature is gross… (and super interesting). This Red-billed Oxpecker, who also loves ear wax and keeping scabs from fully forming so it can feast on blood and tissue, seems particularly attuned to the digestive timing of giraffes. It flew down from the beast’s neck within seconds of this process starting so it could have its pick of the ticks that inhabit this usually inaccessible region. Yup, gross… and interesting.

Bird Light Wind… keeping it real since 2008.

The Congregation

Hippos are amazing. They make extraordinary noises. Heavy long distance grunts and hollers. They secrete sunscreen. They spray feces with their paddle-like tails. They graze in fields at night. They run much faster than you. They are the most dangerous animals in Africa. Yup, see those teeth. If you trouble them they’ll have no compunction about disemboweling you on their way back to the water. Respect!

This river in the Serengeti is a Hippo hotspot. They gather in the eddies and pass the daylight hours in large groups.

The roiling waters aren’t always caused by the current. The Hippos sometimes snap out of their sedate reverie and swirl around furiously as they address their space issues.

A friendly warning is issued to a younger hippo who strayed too close.

With order reestablished, a Hippo feels comfortable cooling his exposed back and momentarily sunning his pallid feet.

A mother feels comfortable enough to encourage her baby to climb on the back of a submerged neighbor.

Farther out, a loner settles into the current and stands firm while the water races by.

A Red-billed Oxpecker gets a free ride on its roaming buffet. They can easily logroll a Hippo if it rolls onto its back, sprinting onto any available surface above water.

Yup, they certainly are fierce. I was glad to be on ledge near the pool with good visibility in all directions.

There you have it. Hippos from front to back. See you tomorrow folks.