Oxpeckers, also known as tickbirds, cling to cattle and big-game animals to remove ticks, flies and maggots from their hides. Their legs are well adapted to a life spent perched on mammals. In a day an adult will take more than 100 engorged female ticks or 13.000 larvae. Though they rid animals of pests, oxpeckers also take blood from sores and wounds, which may be slow to heal.
When alarmed, the birds hiss, alerting their hosts to possible danger.
In kenya, widespread up to 2500 m wherever large wild mammals and undipped livestock are present.Local and scarce in coastal area.