Red-billed Oxpecker ( Buphagus erythrorhynchus, family: Sturnidae)

red-billed oxpecke kruger national parkr.gifThe Red-billed Oxpecker (Latin name Buphagus erythrorhynchus) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 772 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 973 also a picture of the Red-billed Oxpecker on page 976. The Red-billed Oxpecker belongs to the family of birds classified as Sturnidae.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the Red-billed Oxpecker was called the

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Red-billed Oxpecker is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common resident

In terms of distribution of the Red-billed Oxpecker in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Red-billed Oxpecker : see above distribution map.

The Red-billed Oxpecker.

Kruger Park Redbilled OxpeckerIdentification assistance for this avian species ...

The Red-billed Oxpecker is a smallish bird but somewhat larger than a house sparrow. The height of the Red-billed Oxpecker is about 20 cms and its weight is about 50 gms

The male and female Red-billed Oxpecker have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is brown.
  • Eye is orange.
  • Bill is red.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is brown.
  • Legs are black.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Red-billed Oxpecker feeds on the ground, and on the wing mainly


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Red-billed Oxpecker is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Buphagus erythrorhynchus will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Red-billed Oxpecker is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub. The bird lays eggs which are red in colour and number between 2 to 5

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Red-billed Oxpecker are: woodlands and arid areas including grasslands. The Red-billed Oxpecker is also at home in wetland and bushveld areas.

You will normally see the Red-billed Oxpecker by itself rather than in the company of birds of the same species.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Ihlalanyathi

Zulu ... iHlalankomo/iHlalanyathi

Afrikaans ...Rooibekrenostervol

German ... Rotschnabel-Madenhacker

Portuguese ... Pica-bois-de-bico-vermelho

French ... Piqueboeuf bec rouge

Dutch ... Roodsnavel-Ossepikker

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 772

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,