Honeyguide

Honeyguides (family Indicatoridae) are a near passerine bird species of the order Piciformes. They are also known as indicator birds, or honey birds, although the latter term is also used more narrowly to refer to species of the genus Prodotiscus. They have an Old World tropical distribution, with the greatest number of species in Africa and two in Asia. These birds are best known for their interaction with humans. Honeyguides are noted and named for one or two species that will deliberately lead humans (but, contrary to popular claims, not honey badgers) directly to bee colonies, so that they can feast on the grubs and beeswax that are left behind.

Honeyguides (https://zh.m.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=響蜜鴷#)
IndicatorProdotiscusKeulemans
Greater honeyguide and
brown-backed honeybird
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Infraorder: Picides
Family: Indicatoridae
Swainson, 1837
Genera

Indicator
Melichneutes
Melignomon
Prodotiscus

Description

Wahlberg's Honeyguide (Prodotiscus regulus) - Juvenile fed by host parent Rock-loving Cisticola
Brown-backed honeybird juvenile fed by host parent, a rock-loving cisticola

Most honeyguides are dull-colored, though some have bright yellow coloring in the plumage. All have light outer tail feathers, which are white in all the African species.

They are among the few birds that feed regularly on waxbeeswax in most species, and presumably the waxy secretions of scale insects in the genus Prodotiscus and to a lesser extent in Melignomon and the smaller species of Indicator. They also feed on waxworms which are the larvae of the waxmoth Galleria mellonella, on bee colonies, and on flying and crawling insects, spiders, and occasional fruits. Many species join mixed-species feeding flocks.

Behavior

Guiding

Honeyguides are named for a remarkable habit seen in one or two species: guiding humans to bee colonies. Once the hive is open and the honey is taken, the bird feeds on the remaining larvae and wax. This behavior is well studied in the greater honeyguide; some authorities (following Friedmann, 1955) state that it also occurs in the scaly-throated honeyguide, while others disagree (Short and Horne, 2002). Wild honeyguides have demonstrated the capability to understand a human call to accompany them to locate honey.[1] Despite popular belief, no evidence indicates that honeyguides guide the honey badger, though videos about this exist.[2][3]

Although most members of the family are not known to recruit "followers" in their quest for wax, they are also referred to as "honeyguides" by linguistic extrapolation.

Breeding

The breeding behavior of eight species in Indicator and Prodotiscus is known. They are all brood parasites that lay one egg in a nest of another species, laying eggs in series of about five during a period of 5-7 days. Most favor hole-nesting species, often the related barbets and woodpeckers, but Prodotiscus parasitizes cup-nesters such as white-eyes and warblers. Honeyguide nestlings have been known to physically eject their hosts' chicks from the nests and they have needle-sharp hooks on their beaks with which they puncture the hosts' eggs or kill the nestlings.[4]

African honeyguide birds are known to lay their eggs in underground nests of other bee-eating bird species. The honeyguide chicks kill the hatchlings of the host using their needle-sharp beaks just after hatching, much as cuckoo hatchlings do. The honeyguide mother ensures her chick hatches first by internally incubating the egg for an extra day before laying it, so that it has a head start in development compared to the hosts' offspring.[5]

Species

The Indicatoridae contains seventeen species in four genera:

FAMILY: INDICATORIDAE

References

  1. ^ Spottiswoode, Claire N.; Begg, Keith S.; Begg, Colleen M. (July 22, 2016). "Reciprocal signaling in honeyguide-human mutualism". Science. 353 (6297): 387–389. doi:10.1126/science.aaf4885. PMID 27463674.
  2. ^ Dean, W. R. J.; Siegfried, W. Roy; MacDonald, I. A. W. (1 March 1990). "The Fallacy, Fact, and Fate of Guiding Behavior in the Greater Honeyguide". Conservation Biology. 4 (1): 99–101. doi:10.1111/j.1523-1739.1990.tb00272.x.
  3. ^ Yong, Ed (September 19, 2011). "Lies, damned lies, and honey badgers". Kalmbach. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  4. ^ Short, Lester L. (1991). Forshaw, Joseph (ed.). Encyclopaedia of Animals: Birds. London: Merehurst Press. p. 155. ISBN 978-1-85391-186-6.
  5. ^ Davies, Ella (7 September 2011). "Underground chick-killers filmed". BBC Nature.
  • Friedmann, Herbert (1955). The Honeyguides. U.S. National Museum (Bulletin 208). hdl:10088/10101.
  • Short, Lester, and Jennifer Horne (2002). Toucans, Barbets and Honeyguides. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-854666-5.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)

External links

Brown-backed honeybird

The brown-backed honeybird (Prodotiscus regulus), also known as the Wahlberg's honeybird, Wahlberg's honeyguide and sharp-billed honeyguide, is a species of bird in the family Indicatoridae. This bird is named after the Swedish naturalist Johan August Wahlberg.

Cassin's honeybird

The Cassin's honeybird (Prodotiscus insignis), also known as the Cassin's honeyguide, is a species of bird in the family Indicatoridae.

Dwarf honeyguide

The dwarf honeyguide (Indicator pumilio) is a species of bird in the family Indicatoridae.

It is found in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, and possibly Burundi.

Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist montane forests.

It is threatened by habitat loss.

Just like other honeyguides, this species is a brood parasite.

Greater honeyguide

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. Claims that it also guides non-human animals are disputed.

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.

Green-backed honeybird

The green-backed honeybird (Prodotiscus zambesiae), also known as the eastern green-backed honeyguide, green-backed honeyguide and slender-billed honeyguide, is a species of bird in the family Indicatoridae.

Honeyguide greenbul

The honeyguide greenbul (Baeopogon indicator) is a species of songbird in the bulbul family, Pycnonotidae.

It is found in western and central Africa.

Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forest and subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest.

Least honeyguide

The least honeyguide (Indicator exilis) is a species of bird in the family Indicatoridae.

It is found in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zambia.

Lesser honeyguide

The lesser honeyguide (Indicator minor) is a species of bird in the family Indicatoridae.

It is found in Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Lyre-tailed honeyguide

The lyre-tailed honeyguide (Melichneutes robustus) is a species of bird in the family Indicatoridae. It is monotypic within the genus Melichneutes.

It is found in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Uganda.

Malaysian honeyguide

The Malaysian honeyguide (Indicator archipelagicus) is a bird in the family Indicatoridae, which are paleotropical near passerine birds related to the woodpeckers. The species is native to Southeast Asia.

Pallid honeyguide

The pallid honeyguide (Indicator meliphilus) is a species of bird in the family Indicatoridae. The species is also known as the eastern least honyeguide.

It is found in Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Scaly-throated honeyguide

The scaly-throated honeyguide (Indicator variegatus) is a species of bird in the family Indicatoridae.

Sjöstedt's greenbul

Sjöstedt's greenbul (Baeopogon clamans) is a species of songbird in the bulbul family, Pycnonotidae. It is found in western and central Africa.

Spotted honeyguide

The spotted honeyguide (Indicator maculatus) is a species of bird in the family Indicatoridae.

It is found in Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Togo, and Uganda.

Thick-billed honeyguide

The thick-billed honeyguide (Indicator conirostris) is a bird of the honeyguide family Indicatoridae. It has been reported interbreeding with the related lesser honeyguide (I. minor) and the two are sometimes treated as a single species.

It is 14-15 centimetres long and has a heavy black bill. The upperparts are yellow-green with dark streaking while the head and underparts are dark greyish, sometimes with faint streaking. The outer tail-feathers are mostly white and there may be a pale spot on the lores. Juvenile birds are similar to adults but are darker and greener. The lesser honeyguide is smaller with a less heavy bill. It has a paler head and underparts, less-streaked upperparts and a more conspicuous patch on the lores.

The calls of the thick-billed honeyguide include a repeated "frip" which is similar to the call of the lesser honeyguide but deeper.

It occurs in parts of West, Central and East Africa. The nominate subspecies is found from southern Nigeria south to north-west Angola and east to Uganda and western Kenya. The form cassini occurs in eastern Sierra Leone, Liberia and southern parts of Guinea, Côte d'Ivoire and Ghana. The species inhabits the interior of dense forest. Where its habitat becomes fragmented it may be replaced by the lesser honeyguide which favours more open habitats.

Like other honeyguides, it is a brood parasite laying its eggs in the nests of other birds. The grey-throated barbet (Gymnobucco bonapartei) is known to be a host species and other Gymnobucco barbets are probably parasitized as well.

Willcocks's honeyguide

The Willcocks's honeyguide (Indicator willcocksi) is a species of bird in the family Indicatoridae.

It is found in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, and Uganda.

The common name and Latin binomial commemorate the General Sir James Willcocks.

Yellow-footed honeyguide

The yellow-footed honeyguide (Melignomon eisentrauti) is a species of bird in the family Indicatoridae.

It is found in Cameroon, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria.

Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. It is threatened by loss of its forest habitat.

Yellow-rumped honeyguide

The yellow-rumped honeyguide (Indicator xanthonotus) is a sparrow-sized bird in the honeyguide family that is found in Asia, mainly in montane forests along the Himalayas. They are very finch-like but the feet are strong and zygodactyl, with two toes facing forward and two backward. They perch on honeycombs and feed on wax. Males tend to be territorial and stay near honeycombs while females and juveniles forage widely. They are brood parasites, laying their eggs in the nests of tree-hole breeders, possibly barbets.

Zenker's honeyguide

The Zenker's honeyguide (Melignomon zenkeri) is a species of bird in the family Indicatoridae.

It is found in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Uganda.

The common name and Latin binomial commemorate the German botanist Georg Zenker.

Suborder
Galbuli
Pici
Birds
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Insects

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