Birds of South Africa’s pristine Lowveld landscape

Photo by Matt Mendenhall

Red-billed Oxpecker

Two species of oxpecker exist in Africa — Red-billed and Yellow-billed. Red-billed is quite common at Sabi Sabi while Yellow-billed is rare. They pick ticks and other ectoparasites from the hides of large mammals. This giraffe didn’t seem bothered at all by the oxpecker on top of its head. I also saw the birds on rhinos, zebras, and buffalos.

Photo by Matt Mendenhall

Southern White-faced Owl

This small owl stands about 10 inches tall (22-28 cm) and weighs no more than 7.8 ounces (220 grams). It has a white face with a black border and huge orange eyes. We watched this bird for a minute or two while it hunted for a mouse or other prey.

 

More stories about birds of Africa

10 photos of incredible birds from South Africa’s Western Cape

Birdwatching and gorilla tracking in Uganda

The desperate race to save Kenya’s fast-declining Taita Apalis 

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Matt Mendenhall

Matt Mendenhall

Matt Mendenhall is the editor of BirdWatching magazine and BirdWatchingDaily.com. He joined the staff of BirdWatching (formerly Birder’s World) in 2000 and has worn many hats over the years: reporter, story wrangler, photo editor, managing editor, and now editor. Originally from Omaha, he lives with his wife and two daughters in Milwaukee and holds a Bachelor’s in journalism from Marquette University. You can reach Matt at (617) 706-9098 and [email protected].

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