African Honeyguides

Research on a remarkable
human-animal relationship

A field trip to Niassa via the Sandawe community of Tanzania

Apr 5, 2018

Red-over-red 2018

Claire and David travel to Tanzania for fieldwork, en route to Niassa for further field experiments. They drive from David’s hometown of Iringa to Kondoa where they make an exploratory trip, along with Brian Wood, to explore the remaining Sandawe honey-hunting culture. Brian is an anthropologist who has worked extensively with the Hadza people, and this short trip was a fabulous source of stimulating ideas and time spent doing interviews and honey-hunting.


New paper on human-honeyguide cooperation and communication

A new study from the Honeyguide Research Project shows that Greater Honeyguides learn the distinct calls that honey-hunters in different parts of Africa use to communicate with them, facilitating cooperation between species. Human honey-hunters signal to honeyguides using specialised calls that vary culturally across Africa. The new study shows using field experiments in Mozambique and Tanzania that honeyguides prefer the specialised calls of the local human culture they interact with, compared to those of a foreign culture. This implies that honeyguides can adjust to human cultural diversity, increasing the benefits of cooperation for both people and birds.

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