Oki Oxpecker

‘Jambo’ everyone! My name is Oki and I am an oxpecker. I guided my friend Zeb around Kenya and we visited the Maasai Mara to see the Great Migration and even went in a hot air balloon.

To learn a bit more about myself and other oxpeckers, here are five fun facts below. I’ve also made a puzzle for you, and finally there’s a lovely colouring sheet of Zeb and myself taking a selfie as we fly over the wildebeest migration.

Five Fun Facts about Oki and oxpeckers

  • Oki is a yellow-billed oxpecker. There are two types of oxpecker, yellow billed and red billed – and the yellow-billed oxpecker has red on its beak as well as yellow!
  • Oxpeckers eat ticks! They search for ticks on the coats of zebras, wildebeests, and a type of antelope called an impala. They often eat ticks off cattle too!
  • The birds also provide a sort of cleaning service for their hosts, snacking on their dandruff, earwax, and even dried-up poo!
  • Sometimes, oxpeckers get a bit too keen to help out. If a host has an open wound, an oxpecker might prevent it from healing by feeding on the fresh blood! However, scientists think that on the whole they are useful birds.
  • Oxpeckers also meet and mate with each other on top of their hosts! When it’s time to build a nest, the birds pluck hair from the hosts to make a snug lining for the eggs they lay. Zeb has promised Oki she can have some of his hair, when the time comes for her to raise a little family!