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Honeyguide-Birds showing where honey can be found

Honungsvisare. Foto: Lennart Andersson

Few birds interact with humans. Some species that do from southwest Africa, which can be found in the African exhibittion. They are honeyguides.

Like the cuckoo, all species belonging to the family honeyguides lay their eggs in other bird species´ nests. This parasitic behavior leaves the effort to raise the young to other unsuspecting birds .

The Large Honeyguide displayes a distinctive behavior that has fascinated ornithologists worldwide. When the bird has located a nest of wild bees, it flies off to find a human or possibly a honey badger.

When the honeyguide finds a human, it possitions itself in a nearby tree, shouting a special sound that attracts attention. People have learned to interpret the sounds and follow the bird which flyes from tree to tree showing the way to the bees.

When arriving at the bee-nest, the human plunders the prized contents of honey. Some honey will always be spilled on the ground or a piece of honey will be left on the ground as a tribute to the bird as a thanks for the help.

This is the only known example of such a cooperation between a wild animal and a human.

Large honey guide / honey bird( Indicator indicator ) A256 - A258 .

The birds are in showcase 2 in the African bird exhibition.

Updated: 2017-11-08 12:08