Why do the male Kudus rub their horns in mud; I watched a few of them do it. Also, what are the birds all over them, which I am sure are eating insects.
Thank you that was very interesting. there are so many animals and birds in Africa it's been fun to learn. I've always loved being able to indentify all natural things from rocks, trees, to mammals and birds.
The birds are Red-billed Oxpeckers. They do help with removing parasites. But what they are actually going for is the blood. They will pick at wounds or the bite site to keep the blood flowing so they can feed on it, but that prevents the wound from healing quickly. So they benefit much more from the relationship. They spend much of their lives on large mammals, even collecting hair for their nests.
The birds you see on many of the animals are probably oxpeckers. They have a unique relationship with each other that allows them to eat the insects off of them to benefit both.
Rubbing the horns in the mud is a form of territorial behaviour.