An inconvenient partnership

This is my first stab at the WordPress weekly photo challenge and plan to make it a regular occurrence.

I took the photo of this proud African Buffalo in the Kruger National Park. Perched on it’s face is a Red-billed Oxpecker also known by its less romantic name Tickbird. These mammals theoretically benefit from the  birds as they remove the disease bearing ticks and it is therefore mutual beneficial symbiotic relationship.

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The photo underneath shows that in doing so it certainly causes the buffalo distress and in the third photo the Oxpecker is proclaiming: I am the boss; I am doing this on my terms!

Studies show that the Oxpecker may rather be a vampire than a helpful friend as it is: ”poor at tick control, great at keeping your wounds open”. But nobody has told the mammals of Africa as they endure this partnership willfully.

For photos about other animals taken in the Kruger National Park go to my blog Close encounters of the Kruger kind where you will find a link (described in English) to close up photos like these of of lion, rhinoceros and elephant to name a few._20150715_091846_2749 - a1


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I blog in Afrikaans, but is certainly prepared to communicate with you in English. The site’s name Abrie dink hardop means Abrie (being my name) thinks aloud and I brand the photos as Abrie clicks aloud (the button of the camera), a wordplay more suitable in Afrikaans.

37 thoughts on “An inconvenient partnership

    1. Thanks for the compliment, sometimes scientists construe data in such away to proof new scientific deductions.If you click on those words it refers to a research project where this amongst other things have been deducted, although it was limited and only one project. Reality is all big mammals in Africa have these Tickbirds hanging around them. It probably is a mutual beneficial relationship, but the birds probably have the better deal.


    1. Thank you very much Lita. Wow (the Afrikaans) why are you learning it? I in turn due to the “international” reaction now that I have done the photo challenge is tempted to translate a few blogs or write future blogs with 2 language versions but my blogs contains typical “South African-isms” not easily translatable. More comfortable in Afrikaans as you apparently will soon be 🙂
      I will go wonder about in Any old world as described in (not) any old blog!


    1. Dankie Mariana, ek vir ‘n oomblik gewonder wie hierdie nie wordpress blogger is, maar toe onthou ek deeglik!! Een van die dae het jy jou eie blog beginnende by die”opdrag” 😉


  1. Thank you very much – me too as I have no clue what will be produced from the next installment. It really is something of being a kid again with the lucky packet being opened each Friday!


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