Birds land on Hippo's head to drink water

EmotionsofAfricaPublished: January 24, 2018Updated: January 26, 20182 plays$0.01 earned
Published: January 24, 2018Updated: January 26, 2018

This video was recorded while on Safari in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. We stopped at a waterhole to watch a few hippos lazing around in the water. Hippos spend most of their day in the water, keeping their skin cool and protected from the harsh African sun. During the day they will do as little as possible. Around dusk time they start leaving the water to go and graze for a few hours. We watched these lazy hippos in the water for a while when we noticed something interesting and funny. Out of nowhere, these birds started landing on the heads of some of the hippos. They were identified as Oxpeckers. Oxpecker birds are one of the most fascinating bird species in Africa. These birds predominantly lives on ticks. They also feed on ectoparasites and blood from wounds. Their favourite host animals are Giraffe, Buffalo, Rhino, Kudu and occasionally hippo. It was during the heat of the day and these birds saw another opportunity instead of parasites on the hippo’s skin. They wanted a safe place from where they could drink water. They found that safe place right in the middle of the waterhole, on a hippo’s head. It is a lot safer than landing on land at the edge of the water and then trying to have a drink while you are vulnerable to many terrestrial dangers such as snakes and monitor lizards. These birds also only have limited time on the head of the hippo and they must drink quickly. Eventually the hippo will move and chase them off or it will go under water. This video shows how the birds have to get their timing right while one of them even gets sprayed by the breathing of one of the hippos. They stick it out right until the end when the hippos decide to go under the water eventually. It was a great experience to witness such comical interaction between mammals weighing over two tons and birds each weighing in at 60 grams.

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  • 1 rumble
    einsteinparrot · 42 weeks ago

    What a fun ride for those birdies! I want to do it!!! My turn!!!

  • 1 rumble
    ray1876 · 42 weeks ago

    Nature just getting along. Nice video!