An enormous, “ugly” bird. A true scavenger that cleans out carcasses in search for bits and peaces of meat! Is frequently associated with vultures.
Call: Primarily silent, but can clap its beak during display.
Habitat: Mainly savannas and plains in the wild. Also becoming present in towns: around dumps, fish markets or abattoirs.
Range: From Senegal to Natal (South Africa); avoids rainforests and deserts.
(African) White-Backed Vulture
Africa’s most widespread large vulture, and known as THE “garbage man” of the African Savannah! 🙂 Often confused with the Cape vulture, but is smaller in size and has a dark eye (the Cape vulture’s eyes have a honey-colour).
Call: Grunts and goose-like hisses and cackles.
Habitat: Open plains and wooded country where game is abundant.
Range: West Africa, Kenya, Tanzania & throughout Southern Africa.
The appointed beautician of the African bushveld! 🙂
Medium-size bird very similar to the yellow-billed oxpecker , but with an all-red bill. Commonly mixed with large mammals (buffalo, rhino, hippo…), as it removes unwanted parasites such as ticks and flies from the host’s body. In fact, the oxpecker will clean the animal’s body thoroughly, even parts such as ears and nostrils. Quite a spectacle to watch! 🙂
Call: A scolding ‘churrrr’ and a hissing ‘zzzzzzist’.
Habitat: Savanna, in close proximity to cattle and game.
Range: Eritrea south through Eastern Africa to Eastern South Africa.