Ono the Tickbird is the twenty-sixth episode of The Lion Guard. [1] It is the last episode of Season 1.


Ono must fill in for a rhino's tickbird while the Guard helps the rhino and his usual tickbird resolve their differences.


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The damaged grove

The Lion Guard are following Ono through a ruined Nyani Grove. Ono exclaims that a rhino is headed for the baboons' tree, and Fuli rushes ahead to stop him. But a baboon lands on her face and pushes her down. They soon discover that the rhino has crashed into the tree, and the baboons are scarpering away. Bunga suggests catching the baboons instead, but is discouraged from his own idea when one of them knocks him over.

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Assisting Kifaru

The Lion Guard approach Kifaru, who reacts irritably to Kion's order to stop shaking the tree. Beshte asks him what the problem is, and he softens at his presence, answering that he's stuck. He is reassured that the Lion Guard will get him out, to which he is grateful for. With Beshte pushing the tree one way, Ono watching his horn and the others moving Kifaru the other way, they are able to pull Kifaru loose. Once free, Kifaru thanks the Guard for their assistance, telling them that they had no idea how it felt to be stuck like that. Bunga then squeaks that he does, since Kifaru is sitting on him. Kifaru raises himself and apologises.

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Fuli leaps back

Kion then asks why he's causing trouble, and the rhino reveals that he was unaware of any trouble that he was causing, despite the baboons' cries and the masses of logs on the floor. He starts to move forward but almost catches Bunga with his horn. He apologises and turns to walk the other way, nearly hitting Fuli instead. He issues another apology before walking away, heading straight for a tree. When the Guard question his behavior, Ono notices that his tickbird is missing.

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Kifaru reminisces about Mwenzi

Ono swoops down and inquires about his tickbird. With a hefty sigh, Kifaru mentions Mwenzi. Beshte recalls how they were such good friends and were always together, but the rhino informs them that Mwenzi left him for no reason. Ono then realises why he's been acting so strangely, and proceeds to tell a curious Bunga that rhinos have poor eyesight. Although Bunga fears that it will upset him, Kifaru admits that his eyesight is worse than most other rhino's. Ono then continues explaining how, for that reason, rhinos will often pair up with tickbirds, who will guide them and warn them of dangers they can't see. Fuli asks what's in it for the tickbirds, and she discovers that it is literally ticks and other insects that crawl on the rhino's back. Bunga then decides it's a great idea, to which Kifaru agrees. He then sings about his friendship.

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Bunga the tickbird

Beshte concludes that he didn't mean to cause all the trouble, and Kifaru apologises again and explains how he was trying to get to the Tamasha. When Fuli asks about it, Kifaru explains that Tamasha is an event that occurs during the wet season, and it is when the rhinos gather near Lake Matope to spar in the mud. As he is speaking, he walks away tearfully. Kion decides that they will find Mwenzi, although Fuli doubts that they can find him in time. Bunga suggests a temporary tickbird to take him there - himself. He leaps onto Kifaru's back and announces his new role. Although surprised, Kifaru accepts his offer and the rhino starts to walk away with Bunga snacking on the bugs on his back.

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Ono the tickbird

Just after Beshte fares Bunga goodbye, Ono spots a problem. He immediately flies towards Kifaru, who is heading for a cliff. With one leg over the edge, Ono orders him to move back slowly and Kifaru obeys. Bunga then apologises for missing his mark, while Kion comments that Kifaru really listened to Ono. The Lion Guard then decide to appoint Ono the task of being Kifaru's tickbird, much to his dismay. Bunga offers advice, but Ono refuses before settling on Kifaru's back. Fuli and Kion then sniff the rhino to pick up Mwenzi's scent and, after acquiring it, they rush off, with Bunga asking Ono to save him some ticks. After they leave, Kifaru asks Ono which way to go. Ono responds with 'right', but Kifaru heads for the cliff again, prompting Ono to call out '(your) other right'. He sighs, stating that it will be a long trip.

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Ono scratches Kifaru's itchy ear

With Kifaru grunting constantly, Ono starts to become agitated. Despite claiming to be fine, he begins to yell at Kifaru after he performs the same error of turning the wrong way. Kifaru becomes upset, stating that Mwenzi would never shout at him before trotting away sobbing. Ono apologises for shouting, but bumps into his behind by accident. Kifaru then tells Ono that he has an itch and that tickbirds usually scratch it for them, adding that Mwenzi always did it for him. Hesitantly, Ono asks where the itch is, and Kifaru responds that it's in his ear. Ono gently scratches his ear and asks for them to proceed, but Kifaru tells him that he didn't get it. Ono flies back up and scratches it again, with Kifaru giving instructions. But Ono grows tired quickly and once again decides to continue the journey. The rhino mentions that Mwenzi would never stop scratching until he tells him to. Deflated, the egret asserts that he is not Mwenzi. Kifaru agrees, and belches loudly, knocking Ono off his feet. After Ono climbs back he apologises, and Ono hopes out loud that the Guard find him soon. Kifaru then comments that Mwenzi would never mutter under his breath, and Ono issues him with an apology.

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Mwenzi swoops past

Meanwhile, Kion and Fuli continue tracking the scent. With Bunga's observation, the Guard conclude that they've been in circles. But Kion then finds Mwenzi's scent on a tree, and Fuli confirms that it's recent. Bunga leaps into the tree in the hopes of finding him but to no avail. But soon, they see a bird whizz past them, which matches Beshte's description of Mwenzi. But because he flies by so fast, no one can tell if it's actually him. Kion devises a plan.

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Bunga catches Mwenzi

With Mwenzi settling near a watering hole, Beshte pretends to be a rhino looking for a tickbird to clear his back. As expected, Mwenzi arrives, only to discover no insects. Bunga then captures him, prompting Mwenzi to ask what the Lion Guard want with him. The Guard then inform him about Kifaru's accidental damage, and that he needs to return to him. However, Mwenzi then tells them the reason he left was because Kifaru was blaming him for being late to the Tamasha, even when it was his fault and that he always blames him for being late. He asks Fuli what she would have done in the same situation, and she sarcastically admits that she would have left... Until Kion prompts her to add that it doesn't mean that he should leave Kifaru. Beshte then adds that he's lost without him, not just because of his poor eyesight. Kion suggests that Mwenzi himself is not doing so well either, and the tickbird agrees that he's used to looking after Kifaru. After a bit of encouragement and being told that Kifaru misses him, he agrees to speak with him.

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Ono fans Kifaru

Elsewhere, Ono brings Kifaru some jackalberry leaves, though he finds out that Kifaru prefers the dark leaves, something which Mwenzi knows. Ono once again points out that he's not Mwenzi, and the rhino offers him his thanks, because after having Ono as his tickbird, he has learnt to truly appreciate Mwenzi. Ono initially accepts, until he realises what he meant. He then becomes concerned when Kifaru collapses from the heat. Ono tells him that the lake's not too far, but Kifaru replies that Mwenzi usually guides him near mud, before trying to dig for mud himself. Ono decides to fan him with his wings to cool him off. Kifaru is happy with this, finally admitting that Ono can do something better than Mwenzi.

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Ono calls for Mwenzi

But just as he admits that Mwenzi would not be able to do such a thing, the Guard return with the tickbird in tow. He overhears Kifaru call Ono the best, and questions Kion on how lost Kifaru really is without him. Despite Kion trying to assure him that he was when they left him, Mwenzi swoops over to the rhino. Although Kifaru is overjoyed that Mwenzi is back, he merely states that it's to say goodbye forever before taking off. After a distraught Kifaru cries out for his companion, he tells Ono that he will have to be his tickbird from now on, prompting a worried cry from Ono. Although Kion reminds him that Kifaru shouldn't be left alone, Ono flies off anyway, ordering them to keep an eye on him. Bunga is initially excited at the prospect of more bugs as he leaps onto his back, but disappointment soon sweeps over him when he realises there are none left. The Lion Guard then decide to cheer Kifaru up by guiding him to Tamasha. However, Kifaru starts to wander the wrong way. The Guard quickly set him back on track.

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Ono speaks with Mwenzi

Elsewhere, Ono catches up to Mwenzi, who settles on a branch near a large lake. Ono tries to warn him away from the area, since Makuu and his float are usually hanging out there. But the tickbird refuses, angry with his perception that Ono was trying to take his place. The egret explains that Kifaru was constantly wishing that he was Mwenzi and that he couldn't even get him to turn right, and questions him about it. But Mwenzi refuses to answer even to that, so Ono makes the assumption that he couldn't either, in turn causing Mwenzi to prove him wrong by answering the question. Ono then praises him for it, before asking about Kifaru's noises and how he handles it.

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Ono saves Mwenzi from Makuu

Soon, Mwenzi starts to remember their friendship, admitting that Kifaru is his best friend. While the two start to speak about best friends, unbeknownst to them, Makuu surfaces nearby. Ono then suggests that Mwenzi try to rekindle their friendship, and Mwenzi agrees. But after Ono flies away, Makuu hits the branch of the tree, and Mwenzi is sent tumbling in the air. Hearing his call, Ono returns and manages to grab the tickbird with his talons and save him from the jaws of Makuu just in time. He places him on a higher branch, but Mwenzi's wing is injured. Ono leaves to get help.

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Kifaru races to save his friend

The Lion Guard finally guide Kifaru to the Tamasha. But before he can join in, Ono swoops down and exclaims that Mwenzi is in trouble. Kifaru, still annoyed with him, claims not to care, until Ono mentions that Makuu is involved. Kifaru then shows immediate concern, and rushes off to save him. He crashes through several trees in his rush, but Ono confirms that he is at least going the right way. The Lion Guard decide that they need to go with him, and hurry after the rhino.

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The crocs approach

Back at the lake, Makuu is hitting Mwenzi's tree with his tail. Mwenzi suggests that he give up since he can't reach him, but Makuu has a trick up his sleeve. He dives under and pounces up, breaking away a large portion of the tree branch, though not the segment where Mwenzi is perched. He assures Mwenzi that he won't be so lucky next time, but Kifaru arrives to stop him. Unable to see, he rushes straight past him and crashes into a hollow tree stump. With his horn trapped, Makuu summons three members of his float, and they start to approach Kifaru.

Before they can attack, the Lion Guard arrive on the scene. Annoyed, Makuu warns Kion to back off. When he refuses to comply, Makuu pins the lion cub down to the ground. The rest of the Lion Guard then tackle the other crocodiles, with Beshte forcefully ejecting two of them from the area.

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Kifaru drives Makuu away

Mwenzi then notices that Kifaru is still struggling and leaps down. He directs Kifaru with some simple instructions, and Kifaru manages to get the stump loose. Just as a crocodile tries to attack Mwenzi, Kifaru turns around at the sound of his friend's worried cry, knocking him away. He apologises, but Mwenzi encourages him to keep going. Kifaru then charges ahead, knocking the crocodiles away from the struggling Lion Guard members. Before he can get to Makuu, the leader retreats, claiming the meal not to be worth it. But Kifaru charges him away anyway.

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With the crocodiles leaving, Kion expresses his gratitude to the rhino, who passes the credit to his tickbird, who passes it back to him. The two then share a brief song together, nuzzling. Kifaru then turns to Ono, informing him that he can no longer be his tickbird, and that he hopes he won't be too upset. Though Ono isn't bothered at all by his words.

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Enjoying Tamasha

The Lion Guard then join Kifaru and Mwenzi at the Tamasha. When Kifaru cheers the wrong way, Mwenzi whispers into his ear for him to face the correct way, where two rhinos are engaged in a friendly spar. Another tickbird mentions that he didn't expect to see him there, and that he had heard they had split up. The friends deny such a thing, and enjoy the show. The Lion Guard are happy to see everyone enjoying themselves, and Beshte comments that it must be nice to have a friend with you all the time. Bunga then asks if Ono would like to be his tickbird, to which Ono declines, claiming that his tickbird days are over. The Guard then share a hearty laugh together.



Big Baboon
Gumbasmother-profileGumba's Mother
♂Crocodile (cameo)


Pride Lands
Nyani Grove
Big Baboon Tree
(final appearance)
Lake Matope
Flood Plains


The Lion Guard

Big Baboon's Troop

Makuu's Float

Mbeya's Crash
(no leader)


Honey Badgers


  1. Press
The Lion Guard Episodes
Special Episodes
Return of the RoarThe Rise of ScarBattle for the Pride Lands
Season One
Never Judge a Hyena by Its SpotsThe Rise of MakuuBunga the WiseCan't Wait to be QueenEye of the BeholderThe Kupatana CelebrationFuli's New FamilyThe Search for UtamuFollow That Hippo!The Call of the DrongoPaintings and PredictionsThe Mbali Fields MigrationBunga and the KingThe Imaginary OkapiToo Many TermitesThe Trouble With GalagosJanja's New CrewBaboons!Beware the ZimwiLions of the OutlandsNever Roar AgainThe Lost GorillasThe Trail to UduguOno's IdolBeshte and the Hippo LanesOno the Tickbird
Season Two
Babysitter BungaThe Savannah SummitThe Traveling Baboon ShowOno and the EggLet Sleeping Crocs LieSwept AwayRafiki's New NeighborsRescue in the OutlandsThe Ukumbusho TraditionThe Bite of KengeTimon and Pumbaa's ChristmasThe Morning ReportThe Golden ZebraThe Little GuyDivide and ConquerThe Scorpion's StingThe Wisdom of KongweThe Kilio Valley FireUndercover KinyongaCave of SecretsThe Zebra MastermindThe Hyena ResistanceThe Underground AdventureBeshte and the BeastPride Landers Unite!The Queen's VisitThe Fall of Mizimu GroveFire from the Sky
Season Three
The HarmattanThe Accidental AvalancheGhost of the MountainMarsh of MysteryDragon IslandJourney of MemoriesThe Race to TulizaMama BinturongFriends to the EndThe Tree of LifeThe River of PatienceLittle Old GinterbongPoa the DestroyerLong Live the QueenThe Lake of ReflectionTriumph of the RoarJourney to the Pride LandsReturn to the Pride Lands
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