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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Honey Guide Bird


A guiding bird attracts a person's attention with wavering, chattering "'tya' notes compounded with peeps or pipes", sounds it also gives in aggression. The guiding bird flies toward an occupied hive (Greater Honeyguides know the sites of many hives in their territories) and then stops and calls again. As in other situations, it spreads its tail, showing the white spots, and has a "bounding, upward flight to a perch", which make it conspicuous. If the followers are native honey-hunters, when they reach the hive they incapacitate the adult bees with smoke and open the hive with axes or pangas (machetes). After they take the honey, the honeyguide eats whatever is left.

One study found that use of honeyguides by the Boran people of East Africa reduces their search time for honey by approximately two-thirds. Because of this benefit, the Boran use a specific loud whistle, known as the fuulido, when a search for honey is about to begin. The fuulido doubles the encounter rate with honeyguides.

The Honey Guide Listen TO This

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