This is a book that would appeal not only to fans of honeyguides
, corvids, vultures, eagles, hawks, owls, linnets (house finches), penguins, chickens, hummingbirds, zebra finches, chickadees, egrets, flycatchers, waterfowl, starlings, bluebirds, ratites, pheasants, or any of the other myriad birds described in the book, but also to anyone who wants to learn more about birds and their roles in our lives.
Birds known as greater honeyguides (Indicator indicator) lead hunter-gatherers in Mozambique to honeyrich bees' nests after hearing humans make this signature call, say evolutionary ecologist Claire Spottiswoode of the University of Cambridge and colleagues.
Honeyguides associate Yao hunter-gatherers' distinctive honey-hunting call with successful joint food hunts, Spottiswoode says.
The (http://science.sciencemag.org/content/353/6297/387) study shows "experimentally that a specialized vocal sound made by Mozambican honey-hunters seeking bees' nests elicits elevated cooperative behavior from honeyguides
," behavior it calls "a rare example of a mutualistic foraging partnership between humans and free-living wild animals." According to the paper, titled "Reciprocal signaling in honeyguide-human mutualism," the sound used by the honey-hunters "increased the probability of being guided by a honeyguide
from about 33 to 66 percent and the overall probability of thus finding a bees' nest from 17 to 54 percent, as compared with other animal or human sounds of similar amplitude."
What makes this example especially pertinent here is the fact that the honeyguides
also form symbiotic/synergistic partnerships with humans, the nomadic Boran people of northern Kenya, with benefits for both partners that can be quantified.
Frogmouths Batrachostomidae; Owlet Nightjars; Potoos; Eared Nightjars; Nightjars; Treeswifts; Swifts; Hummingbirds; Trogons; Kingfishers Alcedinidae; Kingfishers Dacebridae; Kingfishers Cerylidae; Todies; Motmots; Bee Eaters; Rollers; Ground Rollers; Cuckoo Rollers; Hoopoes; Woodhoopoes; Hornbills; Ground Horbills; Jacamars; Puffbirds; Asian Barbets; African Barbets; Amercian Barbets; Honeyguides
; Toucans; Wood- peckers; New Zealand Wrens; Pittas; Broadbills; False Sunbirds; Woodcreepers; Furnarids; Antbirds; Antthrushes; Gnateaters.
About half of them are brood parasites, a trait they share with honeyguides
, whydah finches, most cowbirds and some ducks and troupials.
In the great Okavango Delta and adjacent reserves, we saw wild dogs, impala, lechwe, gnu, kudo, jackals, baboons, elephants, crocodiles, hippopotami, kons, giraffes, the elusive sitatunga, aardvarks, wildebeest, warthogs, fish eagles, sec retary birds, multicolored rollers, honeyguides
, and a gokath heron.
Nearly all other species of parasitic cuckoos and parasitic honeyguides
kill all the host young.
Newly hatched honeyguides
peck their nestling competition to death with heavy, hooked bills.
Reyer of the Max-Planck Institute in Seewiesen, West Germany, watched Boran honey hunters work with honeyguides
for three years.