12th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest Natural World
Harmony in nature: oxpeckers and kudus

One of the interesting things we learned on safari in Botswana was about the interrelationship of species - which ones hang out or travel together or, in this case, help each other out. The kudu are plagued by flies and mites; the red billed oxpeckers eat those pesky critters for snacks. You can see oxpeckers perched on either side of this kudu's face, getting nourishment for themselves and giving the kudu relief from the bugs.

Photo Detail
Date Taken: 07.2014
Date Uploaded: 11.2014
Photo Location: Chitabe Camp, Okavango Delta, Botswana
Camera: Canon PowerShot SX280 HS
Copyright: © Leslie Geffen