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All About Birds
Redbilled Oxpecker
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The Redbilled Oxpecker is a common bird that is usually found perched on large mammals in southern Africa. It perches on rhinos, giraffes, elephants, and cape buffalo. The Redbilled Oxpecker lives in savannahs, bushlands, and forests.

Anatomy: The Redbilled Oxpecker is about 9 inches (22 cm) long. It has a short, thick, red bill. The eyes are red and are surrounded by large, bright-yellow circles. The head, neck, wings, and tail are brown-gray; the undersides are pale yellow.

Diet: The Redbilled Oxpecker eats its host's skin parasites (like ticks and fleas), bothersome flies, and dead host skin. The oxpecker eats hundreds of ticks and flies each day. The oxpecker and its host mammal are symbionts (two different species who benefit from living together).

Eggs and Nests: The Redbilled Oxpecker's nest is a hole in a tree (they do not form the hole, but find one). Females lay 1-5 eggs in each clutch (a set of eggs laid at one time). Both parents incubate the eggs.

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