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Oxpecker at work

15 June 2016

 

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QUESTION:

Do you know how many ticks an oxpecker can eat per day?

 

ANSWER:

An oxpecker´s main food source is blood, mucus and ticks which are found in the body cavities, eyes and ears of host mammals. Oxpeckers occur on many types of wildlife and they use their scissor-like beaks to pluck off ectoparasites. They also catch flying insects and clean out wounds by pecking away any dead tissue. A single oxpecker can eat some 1655 ticks or tick nymphs per day. Have you ever seen an oxpecker at work? Here is your chance!

Prof J du P Bothma wrote a scientific article about the oxpecker. Read more on this subject and other interesting facts about this animal.

 

 

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