Trivia question for May-29-2011
Olivia picked this colorful bird because she learned how valuable they were to some animals. These birds acts as sentinels, giving their host early warning of approaching prey. It is native to the savannah of sub-Saharan Africa, from the Central African Republic east to Sudan and south to northern and eastern South Africa.
These guys perch on large wild and domesticated mammals such as cattle and eat ticks. An adult will take nearly 100 engorged female ticks, or more than 12,000 larvae in a day.
However, their favorite food is blood, and while they may take on ticks bloated with blood, they also feed on it directly, pecking at the mammal’s wounds to keep them open to more parasites. So, what good the bird does for the mammal is negated by it keeping the wounds open to parasites and disease.
So here are Olivia’s questions: Tell us what this bird is called and tell us 3 mammal species who do not tolerate these birds. Also, tell us one of the biggest threats that these birds face.
Good Luck 😉
Wow.. Olivia obviously did a great job with her trivia. We had lots of guesses but no-one was able to identify the bird we featured. Olivia is all smiles. The colorful bird we featured is the Red-billed Oxpeckers. The Red-billed Oxpecker is native to the savannah of sub-Saharan Africa, from the Central African Republic east to Sudan and south to northern and eastern South Africa.
Although there are many species who tolerate these birds because they rid the animal of it bugs etc, the Elephant, Waterbuck and the Hartebeest do not. The biggest threat these guys face comes from farmers who remove ticks and other insects from their livestock with chemicals. The chemicals reduce the amount of food for these guys and also the chemicals themselves are thought to harm the birds. Here is more on these blood-thirsty birds: Red-billed Oxpeckers
Thanks for playing along 😉