November 28, 2016 – Greater Honeyguide (Indicator indicator)

Requested by: @didaodi

These honeyguides are found across sub-Saharan Africa. They eat bee larvae and eggs, as well as termites, ants, moths, and beetles, and are one of the few species of bird capable of digesting beeswax. The name honeyguide refers to their mutualistic relationship with humans. They will chatter loudly to attract attention before leading a honey hunter to a bee hive. The hunter then breaks open the hive to harvest the honey, allowing the honeyguide to gain access to the wax and larvae inside. Humans in their range have even developed special calls they use to attract the birds. Honeyguides do not build nests, but are brood parasites, laying eggs in a variety of other species’ nests.

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