Yellow-billed Oxpecker | Buphagus africanus

Robert's Birding Information: Yellowbilled Oxpecker

The Yellow-billed Oxpecker is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Sturnidae bird family group which includes birds such as Starlings, Mynans, Oxpeckers.Yellow Billed Oxpecker

The description for the Yellow-billed Oxpecker (Latin name Buphagus africanus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Buphagus africanus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 771 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 973. You will find a picture of the Yellow-billed Oxpecker on page 976.

The Yellow Billed Ox Pecker is also occasionally referred to as a "Tick Bird".

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

Neither the Latin nor the Engish name for this bird has been affected by recent nomenclature modifications ? these changes have been incorporated into Robert's 7th Edition where appropriate.

The Yellow-billed Oxpecker is known in Afrikaans as Geelbekrenostervoel.

The Yellow-billed Oxpecker has a height of 20 cms and weighs around 60 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured yellow. The Buphagus africanus has a white coloured throat, black legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are red.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is brown.

Eyes are red.

Bill is yellow.

Legs are black.

Throat is white.

Back is brown.

Yellowbilled Oxpecker Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground.

The Buphagus africanus attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten.

The diet includes small mammals such as rabbits, field mice and other rodents. Rodents are usually taken from the ground and killed using the sharp claws. The Yellow-billed Oxpecker uses its hard bill to tear up the flesh.

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten.

Yellow Billed Oxpecker Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Yellow-billed Oxpecker is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 3 eggs and they are coloured white.

The bird builds its nest on the ground with figs, straw and leaves. The nest is placed under a bush to protect the young from predators.

The Yellow-billed Oxpecker is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams.

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Yellow-billed Oxpecker is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks.