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Either of two African starlings (Buphagus africanus or B. erythrorhyncus) that feed on ticks and other insects found on the hides of large wild or domestic animals. Also called tickbird.


(Animals) either of two African starlings, Buphagus africanus or B. erythrorhynchus, having flattened bills with which they obtain food from the hides of cattle. Also called: tick-bird


(ˈɒksˌpɛk ər)

either of two African starlings of the genus Buphagus, noted for their habit of alighting on hoofed mammals to feed on ticks.
References in periodicals archive ?
Parasites include ticks, fleas, hookworms or ringworms, and oxpeckers.
The oxpeckers get food and the beasts get pest control," according to the (http://www.
Suddenly a flock of noisy, red-billed oxpeckers flew overhead and abruptly dropped from the sky--a portent that the bulls were only a few yards from us.
Oxpeckers not only feed upon invertebrate parasites, they are happy to consume bits of flesh and blood of their host animals while they are at it.
The oxpeckers (tickbirds) of Africa and brown-headed cowbirds of North America feed on ticks that they dig out of the hides of wild animals.
Reading "Do oxpeckers help or mostly just freeload?
The oxpeckers gobble up ticks and lice that suck blood from the mammals' skin.
For a long time, scientists thought that birds called oxpeckers and big African mammals helped each other.
Keeping the red-billed oxpeckers away from oxen didn't typically increase tick infestation, Paul Weeks found in graduate work for the University of Cambridge in England.
Birds called oxpeckers often climb around on giraffes.
Amazingly, birds such as egrets and oxpeckers sit right on the backs of hippos.