African Honeyguides

Research on a remarkable
human-animal relationship

Dr Jessica van der Wal joins the team

Mar 5, 2019

Jessica van der Wal joins the project as a postdoc based at the University of Cape Town. Jessica recently completed her PhD investigating the foraging ecology of the New Caledonian crow. Here she is at Niassa with fellow postdoc Dom Cram, and field data manager Orlando Ncuela.


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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