These strange little birds feed exclusively on the bodies of mammals. They dig through the fur with their beaks and pick out ticks and other insects found on the ‘host’ animal. They will also feed on insects that are found in or on wounds that the mammal may have. The smallest mammal that the Oxpeckers will feed off of is the Impala, anything smaller is usually avoided. This is probably because of the heavy tick load and also the more social nature of the species. Smaller buck like the Duiker and Steenbok are more solitary animals. It has also been discovered that Oxpeckers will open old wounds and enhance existing ones to drink the blood from an animal upon which they are perched. I have visited Kruger Park many times in my life and have always wanted to snap a clear shot of these birds in action. It’s proved a difficult task and finally on my most recent trip, I got what I was waiting for!