/oks"pek'euhr/, n.
either of two African starlings of the genus Buphagus, characterized by their habit of riding on large, wild animals and domestic cattle to feed on ticks.
[1840-50; OX + PECKER]

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also called  Tickbird,  

      either of the two species of the African genus Buphagus, of the family Sturnidae (order Passeriformes). Both species—the yellow-billed (B. africanus) and the red-billed (B. erythrorhynchus)—are brown birds 20 cm (8 inches) long, with wide bills, stiff tails, and sharp claws. They cling to cattle and big-game animals to remove ticks, flies, and maggots from their hides; when alarmed, the birds hiss, alerting their hosts to possible danger. Though they rid animals of pests, oxpeckers also take blood from the sores, which may be slow to heal.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Oxpecker — Ox peck er, n. (Zo[ o]l.) An African bird of the genus {Buphaga}; the beefeater. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • oxpecker — [äks′pek΄ər] n. any of a genus (Buphagus) of African starlings that feed on the parasitic ticks found on the hides of large mammals, as cattle …   English World dictionary

  • Oxpecker — Tickbird redirects here. This term is also applied to other birds, e.g. the Yellow headed Caracara (Milvago chimachima) of Latin America. Oxpeckers Red billed Oxpecker …   Wikipedia

  • oxpecker — buivoliniai varnėnai statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Buphagus angl. oxpecker rus. буйволовый скворец, m pranc. piqueboeuf, m ryšiai: platesnis terminas – buivoliniai varnėnai siauresnis terminas – geltonsnapis buivolinis… …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • oxpecker — noun Date: circa 1848 either of two small dull colored African birds (Buphagus erythrorhynchus and B. africanus) of the starling family that feed on ticks which they pick from the backs of infested cattle and wild mammals …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • oxpecker — noun Either of two species of passerine bird in the genus Buphagus, in the monotypic family Buphagidae, endemic to sub Saharan African savannah …   Wiktionary

  • oxpecker — noun a brown African bird related to the starlings, feeding on parasites that infest the skins of large grazing mammals. [Genus Buphagus: two species.] …   English new terms dictionary

  • oxpecker — ox•peck•er [[t]ˈɒksˌpɛk ər[/t]] n. orn either of two African starlings of the genus Buphagus, noted for their habit of alighting on hoofed mammals to feed on ticks • Etymology: 1840–50 …   From formal English to slang

  • oxpecker — /ˈɒkspɛkə/ (say okspekuh) noun either of two species of African starlings of the genus Buphagus that feed on ticks on the hides of large animals …   Australian English dictionary

  • oxpecker — ˈ ̷ ̷ˌ ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ noun : either of two small dull colored African birds (Buphagus africanus and Buphagoides erythrorhynchus) that resemble and are closely related to starlings and feed on ticks which they pick from the backs of infested cattle and… …   Useful english dictionary

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