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Why do birds love to hangout with buffalos?

August 10, 2023

There is no widespread or established phenomenon where birds specifically love to hang out with buffalos. However, birds and large grazing animals like buffalos might be found in proximity to each other in certain environments, and there could be some reasons for this behavior.

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On birds-buffalo correlation, we often observe birds perched nearby while the buffaloes graze contentedly. It's no secret that birds help buffalos get rid of ticks, but how exactly do they do this? In this blog post, we'll explore the different ways birds help buffalos stay tick-free.

Buffalo- Restaurant of birds

When buffalos take a walk in search of food, they are often accompanied on their journey by birds. The buffalo is a walking restaurant to the birds. In return, the birds offer a very valuable service – picking off any ticks that may be clinging to the buffalos' fur. Ticks are small, blood-sucking parasites that can be found on a variety of mammals, including buffalo. They attach themselves to the skin and feed on the host's blood, which can cause irritation and even transmit diseases.

This picking off of any ticks by the birds helps to keep the buffalos healthy and free from parasites, making it a mutually beneficial relationship. The buffalos gain the advantage of having their fur kept clean of ticks, while the birds receive a full stomach after a successful scavenging mission. It is a symbiotic relationship that both species benefit from, and it is a great example of nature working together for the greater good.

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Scavenging for Ticks

Birds, particularly species of birds known as oxpeckers that are native to Sub-Sharan regions of Africa, have developed a habit of feeding on ticks found on the bodies of buffalo and other large mammals. These birds perch on the buffalo's back and pick off ticks with their beaks, effectively removing them from the host's skin.

In India, however, we find a lot of birds including crows, storks, egrets and other little ones will often scavenge for ticks in the buffalos' pasture. They eat flies and other biting creatures which, if left unchecked, could become pests to the cattle. These birds also have a keen eye and sharp beak, allowing them to search through the grass and find ticks, eating them before they have a chance to latch onto the buffalos. This helps to protect the buffalos from the potential discomfort, or even harm, that the ticks can cause, as well as providing the birds with a valuable source of protein. The birds benefit from their meal since ticks are a nutritious snack for them and provide the energy they need to survive.

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Finally, birds may also groom buffalos, helping to remove any ticks that may have attached while the buffalos were grazing. This is especially true of birds such as crows and oxpeckers, which will land on the buffalos' backs and pick off the ticks with their sharp beaks. Grooming in this way helps to rid the buffalos of the pesky ticks, while also creating a strong bond between the two animals. The buffalos come to look upon the birds as helpful and even friendly companions, who can be trusted to lend a helping hand (or helping body) when needed. This symbiotic relationship is beneficial for both species, and is a testament to the power of nature to find harmony in unlikely places.

Birds play an important role in helping buffalos stay tick-free. By migrating with them, scavenging for ticks, and grooming them, birds help keep buffalos safe, healthy and aids in the prevention of disease.

So next time when you notice birds spending time with buffalo and both enjoy the amity, you know the reason!

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