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Lunch 111

By SimonFletch  
Good Day to all my EPZ friends and thank you for your Votes and generous Comments on 'Lunch 110 - The Black-winged Stilt'. Special 'thank you's' to both Patty and John , for their cherished User Awards, for which I am most grateful.

The Black-winged Stilt is rather aptly named, because it does rather look like it's walking on Stilts..! A number of you commented on the word Thong, with Carol decrying the "'next to nothing' pieces of apparel that some ladies like to wear" - it's not just the ladies, Carol, I passed by a building site the other day...Blush Jeff and his 'infamous' one liners said "I rarely go wading without my wellies and as to wearing a thong, it wouldn't be a pretty sight" - you aren't supposed to wear them over your trousers, Jeff Blush An Mick's thoughts were presumably in heaven over "thongs and long pink and red legs" Nothing wrong with dreaming, Mick, just don't let the false teeth chatter GrinGrinGrin

I'm looking forward to seeing Lynne's image of a Black-winged Stint with a crustacean in its beak. That'll make a grand Lunch shot. But for me, despite patiently waiting, not a head was raised. Yours must have been looking out for the Flamingoes, too, Lynne Wink

Today's 'Lunch'
No doubt everyone has seen the images before getting thus far? How many are thinking "that Rhino's not eating Lunch"? Well, you absolutely right, because today's offering is of the Red Billed Oxpeckers, sitting on the Rhino, eating the earwax, bugs, ticks and insects from this huge mammal. Their diet also includes dead skin, mucus, saliva, sweat, and tears. It may even be collecting loose hairs, to line its nest in a hole in a tree somewhere.

But its preferred food is actually the blood of mammals and they will peck away at sores, keeping them open, for parasites to grow. So they actually prolong the healing period of wounds. They will also eat up to 100 blood-engorged ticks, or more than 12,000 larvae in a day.

Are these birds - or vampires?!

Have a Frizzling Friday, everyone ...!


Tags: Vampire Bird Lunch Eating Rhino Black rhino Wildlife and nature Nairobi National Park Red-billed Oxpecker

Voters: Andysnapper, ugly, CarolG and 43 more

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Andysnapper 12 109 25 England
16 May 2014 6:27AM
Superb shots Simon and as usual a mirth making write up. A smile a day keeps the doctor away.... or something like that.

CarolG 14 199 20 Greece
16 May 2014 6:36AM
The diet of the cute litte oxpeckers has just put me right off my breakfast, Simon, thanks for that Wink. Superb captures. Carol
ade123 8 285 1 United Kingdom
16 May 2014 6:39AM
Brilliant images Simon
16 May 2014 6:45AM
Good morning Simon. Love the amusing write up once again. V2 for me I do like the little bird on the side of the rhino . Have a good day.
Patty Grin
cats_123 Plus
16 5.0k 30 Northern Ireland
16 May 2014 6:49AM
At the sharp end of the lunch queue? GrinGrin
16 May 2014 6:58AM
Excellent captures Simon, V2 my favourite,
JohnoP 15 2
16 May 2014 7:01AM
Three amazing images Simon....absolutely love V2! I wasn't feeling too queasy until I got to the 'tick' bit...not sure I fancy my muesli with raisins now! Smile John
NDODS 10 5.2k 127 United Kingdom
16 May 2014 7:51AM
Wildlife photography dosen't get any better than this Simon. Three quite magnificent captures each on a winner.

Regards Nathan GrinGrinGrin
Griff2012 8 363 1 United Kingdom
16 May 2014 8:52AM
These are among your best , Simon. I'm with JohnoP - V2 is a top shot. Fascinating facts to go with the images - it's like an online course in African wildlife. Hope there isn't an exam - my memory isn't what it used to be! Smile Jacqui
RonnieAG Plus
11 154 119 Scotland
16 May 2014 9:27AM
Great shots and such an informative narrative, Simon: I learn something new here on site every day.
No doubt the rhino appreciates this bird's attention but the keeping of open wounds open is less desirable.
Maiwand 14 3 73 England
16 May 2014 9:40AM
Top class images Simon. I would not care to pat him on the head and say 'theres a good boy'!!!!!!GrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrin
PhilT2 Plus
11 533 31 England
16 May 2014 10:20AM
Tremendous photography Simon
sparrowhawk Plus
12 282 2 United Kingdom
16 May 2014 10:56AM
wonderful set of shots my personal pick is v2 today Simon
dark_lord Plus
16 2.7k 734 England
16 May 2014 1:46PM
Great stuff!
As soon as I saw the image I knew it was the oxpeckers that were the subject of lunch. I first learned of oxpeckers way back at school, but as far as I can recall we didn't learn those gory details (and I would have remembered them!).
V2 is my favourite, quite comical. V3 looks like the rhino is resigned to what's going on.

16 May 2014 4:25PM
Beautifully captured images, Awesome SmileSmileSmile
16 May 2014 5:27PM
Superb captures in all aspects, Simon!
Glostopcat 14 255 2 England
16 May 2014 5:28PM
A terrific set of wildlife images Simon and a fascinating narrative to accompany them. Those oxpeckers are blood thirsty little creatures and it looks like they've taken a bite or two out of one of the rhinoceros's ears, either that or he's had a run in with Iron Mike Tyson!Wink
ali63 8 790 1 United Kingdom
16 May 2014 6:08PM
Glad I had finished my tea before reading about this blood thirsty little bird, great image Simon,

bobsblues 11 10 2 United Kingdom
16 May 2014 6:22PM
Superb capture's old chap definately vampire birds and glad to make it no 30.
LynneJoyce Plus
12 22 101 United Kingdom
16 May 2014 6:50PM
That gorgeous rhino (well I think they are incredibly beautiful) looks very sanguine in spite of the Oxpecker's attempts at exsanguination. I guess that a little blood in exchange for delousing isn't a bad deal.

Three fabulous images and a fascinating if pretty yucky description!
16 May 2014 7:46PM
Outstanding set of images, Simon. Great narrative.

16 May 2014 8:57PM
OMG! Awesome photography Simon. Love all three shots. Bostin! as they would say in this neck of the woods GrinGrinGrin

16 May 2014 9:49PM
A real education today, Simon - superb images, informative write up - an excellent upload!Smile
I certainly agree with Kathryn's 'bostin' description, ower kid!!

Lillian Plus
11 23 17 United Kingdom
16 May 2014 10:15PM
three great images Simon
envious WinkWink
16 May 2014 11:29PM
Great shots Simon. Love the write up. Sound like vampires to me! Cathy
ukgubbi 9 5 India
17 May 2014 5:10AM
This is an excellent wildlife photography. I love this type of images showing inter dependency.
Bantu 7 7 1 India
17 May 2014 5:22AM
Fantastic,best of the best Simon.

nonur 12 18 13 Turkey
17 May 2014 8:12AM
EXCELLENT set, Simon. Two lunch shots in one. Wish I had another UA to give.
Ayoob 9 Australia
17 May 2014 4:17PM
Great set of images , very well taken and presented , Simon....GrinGrinGrin
viscostatic 14 48 9 United Kingdom
20 May 2014 9:54PM
I always thought oxpeckers were good for the species on which they feed but apparently not.Interesting information Simon as well as a great photo.


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