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African buffalo

Syncerus caffer


This is a fun spotting featuring the African Buffalo as the main subject. This spotting is showing the interaction between this species and a number of other different species. In this case there are 4 different buffalo's but all the images are taken within a localized area in the same time frame. In order, the images show a buffalo with a yellow-billed ox pecker, a pied kingfisher, a cattle egret and a long-tailed or reed cormorant.


This is on the shores of Lake Edward in the Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda.


Apart from the ox pecker that could have been looking for food on its host in a symbiotic relationship, the other three species of bird look to be using the buffalo as an observation and fishing platform. If the movement of the buffalo is disturbing small fish or invertebrates then I guess that is good for the birds but the buffalo doesn't seem to be getting any obvious benefit from the interaction. That said the buffalo was making no effort to remove the birds so perhaps it enjoyed getting its back scratched?

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triggsturner 5 months ago

Thank you PN. Wonderful honour to get 3rd equal place.

Machi 5 months ago

Congratulations triggsturner, your African Buffalo and birds tied for third in our 2019 Best Wildlife Photo competition, mammal category!



triggsturner 5 months ago

Thank you Neil for your comment. The pied kingfishers were everywhere and used most of the big mamals standing anywhere near water for thier fishing forays.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 5 months ago

Awesome spotting, Rob. I wouldn't usually associate the word "fun" with cape buffalo, particularly the males, but I see what you mean. Great series and notes. I've never seen the pied kingfisher before - he's a handsome little fellow!

Spotted by

Western Region, Uganda

Spotted on Jul 5, 2019
Submitted on Nov 30, 2019

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