oa African Zoology - Timing of breeding of the redbilled oxpecker (Buphagus erythrorhynchus) in the Kruger National Park

Volume 17, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



The reproductive activity of the red billed oxpecker Buphagus erythrorhynchus is governed primarily by the effects of rainfall and the onset of the laying cycle is dependent on the time of year at which the rain occurs. At the onset of the rainy season in August or early September the biomass of the Ixodidae increases on the mammalian symbionts and is made use of for feather synthesis during moult. During October with a significant increase in the biomass of Tabanidae it is possible to accumulate a large enough protein reserve to initiate breeding.

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