It’s always great to see these large, robust African bovines supporting their smaller feathery counterparts. But, we’re not so sure if the African buffalo is all that pleased with being used as a roaming perch for the savanna’s many birds!
Kenya’s Maasai Mara is a game reserve where wild African animals can live safely. While African buffaloes work together to slowly mow the savanna’s long grass, they are often joined by flocks of birds, who perch on their backs, on their heads, and even on their snouts.
The landlord, or the buffalo, tolerates the Madenhacker or even a Cattle Egret on his body, so that he is released from the plague of insects,” said German photographer Ingo Gerlach, according to the Barcroft TV report.
I photographed this behavior over several days in the Masai Mara. I admired the endurance of the birds, who, after every attempt by the buffalo to get rid of the winged ghosts, once again landed on the body or head of the buffalo.”
An interesting combination indeed. For some humorous shots of birds on buffaloes, have a look at some of these photos by Ingo Gerlach.
1. The “symbiotic” relationship between buffalo and bird
2. It seems struggle is futile
3. A common sight
4. A cattle egret enjoys stretching it’s legs atop this buffalo
5. This is obviously the meeting point for these oxpeckers, or madenhackers
6. Shots like this make us think, perhaps the buffalo wants some alone time
Images source: Barcroft Images.