Honeyguides and Honey Gatherers: Interspecific Communication in a Symbiotic Relationship

Science  10 Mar 1989:
Vol. 243, Issue 4896, pp. 1343-1346
DOI: 10.1126/science.243.4896.1343


In many parts of Africa, people searching for honey are led to bees' nests by the greater honeyguide (Indicator indicator Sparrman). The Boran people of Kenya claim that they can deduce the direction and the distance to the nest as well as their own arrival at the nest from the bird's flight pattern, perching height, and calls. Analyses of the behavior of guiding birds confirmed these claims.