Greater Honeyguide

The Greater Honeyguide is a resident breeder in sub-Saharan Africa. It is found in a variety of habitats that have trees, especially dry open woodland, but not in the West African jungle.

The Greater Honeyguide is classified as Least Concern. Does not qualify for a more at risk category. Widespread and abundant taxa are included in this category.

The Greater Honeyguide (Indicator indicator) is a bird in the family Indicatoridae, paleotropical near passerine birds related to the woodpeckers. Its English and scientific names refer to its habit of guiding people to bee colonies. The Greater Honeyguide is a resident breeder in sub-Saharan Africa. It is found in a variety of habitats that have trees, especially dry open woodland, but not in the West African jungle. More

The Greater Honeyguide is about 20cm long and weighs about 50 g. Like all African honeyguides, it has bold white patches on the sides of the tail. The male has dark grey-brown upperparts and white underparts, with a black throat. The wings are streaked whitish, and there is a yellow shoulder patch. The bill is pink. The female is duller and lacks the black throat. Her bill is blackish. More

Distribution of Greater honeyguide in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2. Food It mainly eats the products of bees, such as eggs, larvae and wax, as well as termite alates and other insects. More

The greater honeyguide will give a distinctive rattling call as well. Once it has reached the site of the hive, it will perch on a nearby branch, hoping that the hive will be opened, in order for it to feed on the adult bees, bee larvae and beeswax. All honeyguides are brood parasite, and the greater honeyguide is no exception. During the breeding season the male sits in a high treetop and sings until a female in breeding condition responds. More

Third, if parasitism by Greater Honeyguides selects for eggshell thickening in their hosts, then we should expect that host species ought to have thicker eggshells relative to their egg sizes (given that shell thickness increases with egg size in birds, e.g., Ar et al. 1979Go; Spaw and Rohwer 1987Go; Brooker MG and Brooker LC 1991) than closely related nonhost species with similar nesting biology. More

Greater Honeyguides have been observed exhibiting guiding behavior in the presence of mongoose and baboon species, and neither responded. This is believed to indicate that the behavior may be released by the presence of non-symbiont mammals, including honey badgers. The distribution of the honeyguide and the honey badger overlap only in eastern and southern Africa. Greater Honeyguides do not live in the arid southwest and the tropical rainforest, where the honey badger does. More

Call of the Greater Honeyguide provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Recorded by M.E.W. North. Honey bee recorded by J.R. Storm. Producer: John Kessler Executive Producer: Chris Peterson © 2006 Seattle Audubon © 2008 Tune In to Revised for Dec. More

a picture of the Greater Honeyguide on page 144. The Greater Honeyguide belongs to the family of birds classified as Indicatoridae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Greater Honeyguide is also known by these other names: Black-throated Honeyguide. The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. More

African Greater Honeyguide, namely the presence of bright yellow in the plumage: the rump patch in the case of the Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, and the “ shoulder” of the male Sunda Honeyguide. Assuming that the thick, tough skin, the upraised nostrils, and the guiding behaviour are derived features, it follows that the ancestral honeyguide was a small, barbet-like bird similar to species of Prodotiscus, but perhaps with a heavier bill, for excavating nesting cavities. More

Order : Piciformes
Family : Indicatoridae
Genus : Indicator
Species : indicator
Authority : (Sparrman, 1777)