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.
Yellow-billed oxpeckers are far less common in Kenya than the red-billed oxpeckers and can only be seen in Laikipia Plateau and Masai Mara.