|“|| Kifaru: My eyesight's worse than most rhinos!
Ono: That's why rhinos partner with tickbirds. The tickbirds ride on the rhinos and warn them about dangers that the rhinos can't see!
The tickbirds shown in The Lion Guard are red-billed and yellow-billed oxpeckers. They have brown upper parts and pale brown underparts. They have long tail feathers and strong feet with three toes pointing forward and one pointing backward.
In the Real World
Tickbirds inhabit the savannahs of sub-Saharan Africa. Being rather gregarious birds, they live in flocks. They are usually tolerated by mammals because they eat the ticks and insects off of them, but they will also peck at the animal's wounds for blood. They use pecking motions to nab insects from the fur of short-coated animals. The females lay two-three eggs, which are white or cream in color, at a time.
In The Lion Guard
Tickbirds are known to have a rhinoceros companion. They will follow this friend anywhere, and feed off the insects from their back while guiding them to their next destination.
Historyoryxes is shown running in the wake of a flock of tickbirds.
Duties of the King, a tickbird is shown flying near Twiga.
Some tickbirds are seen gliding across the air near Theluji Mountains.
A flock of tickbirds briefly flies past the tallest tree in the Pride Lands.
When Makuu approaches Pride Rock, he causes a flock of tickbirds to scatter. Later, when Makuu announces that Simba's Savannah Summit can go on, his booming voice causes another flock of tickbirds to scatter.
Mwenzi can be seen when Mbeya asks Kifaru if they should go help fight the Outlanders.
Mwenzi and the other tickbirds helps fight in the final battle agaisnt Scar's Army. Later, he says goodbye to the Lion Guard as they go to the Tree of Life.