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Greater Honeyguide

Miranda Krestovnikoff presents the greater honeyguide of sub-Saharan Africa.

Tweet of the Day is the voice of birds and our relationship with them, from around the world.

Miranda Krestovnikoff presents the greater honeyguide of sub-Saharan Africa. A loud repetitive "it's - here" – "it's -here" is a sound the greater honey guide only makes to humans in an extraordinary co-operative act between humans and bird. Relatives of woodpeckers they are one of the few birds which can digest wax and also feed on the eggs, grubs and pupae of bees. A greater honeyguide knows the location of the bee colonies in its territory and is able to lead honey-hunters to them. Once it has successfully guided its helpers to a nest, it waits while the honey-hunters remove the comb. Then it moves in to snap up the grubs and wax from the opened nest. So reliable are honeyguides that the Boran people of East Africa save up to two thirds of their honey-searching time by using the bird's services and use a special loud whistle (called a fuulido) to summon their guide before a hunt.

Available now

2 minutes

Last on

Thu 27 Jun 2019 05:58

Greater honeyguide (Indicator indicator)

Also known as black-throated honeyguide, this webpage image is courtesy of Roland Seitre /

NPL Ref 01469763 © Roland Seitre /


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