oxpecker, noun

Either of two birds of the Buphagidae, Buphagus africanus, distinguished by a predominantly yellow bill, or B. erythrorhynchus, with a red bill, both having sharp claws enabling them to cling onto grazing animals while devouring ticks and other parasites; buffalo bird, see buffalo sense 2; rhenostervoël; rhinoceros bird; rhinoster bird, see rhinoster sense 1 b; tick-bird sense 2.
1884 Layard & Sharpe Birds of S. Afr. 419During our stay in the bush Ox-peckers appeared in numbers about our oxen, and actually ate large holes in the fleshy part of their backs.
1923 Haagner & Ivy Sketches of S. Afr. Bird-Life 199Those (sc. the eggs) of the red-billed Ox-pecker are spotted with purplish-red.
1977 D. Livingstone in E. Pereira Contemp. S. Afr. Plays 25We don’t want the ox-peckers to give the alarm.
1977 D. Livingstone in E. Pereira Contemp. S. Afr. Plays 26Red-billed oxpeckers flap away from very near, crying...The large animal starts to lumber away.
1988 Our Living World 29 Oct. 3Several rare and endangered species including cheetah, Cape hunting dog, suni antelope, brown hyena, and yellow-billed oxpecker.
1990 Grocott’s Mail 30 Oct. 3The oxpecker, whose appetite for ticks is seemingly insatiable, is also the farmers’ friend.
Either of two birds of the Buphagidae, Buphagus africanus, distinguished by a predominantly yellow bill, or B. erythrorhynchus, with a red bill, both having sharp claws enabling them to cling onto grazing animals while devouring ticks and other parasites; buffalo bird, see buffalo2; rhenostervoël; rhinoceros bird; rhinoster bird, see rhinoster1 b; tick-bird2.

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