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.
Launching Honeyguiding.me for all bird enthusiasts in Africa!
Our new paper investigates whether cheating honeyguides jeopardise the cooperation between honey-hunters and honeyguides, by investigating which birds guide and which birds cheat, and the pay-offs of these two tactics.
Claire Spottiswoode gave a plenary talk entitled “Show me the honey: communication between people and wild birds in Africa” at the International Bioacoustics Conference in Sapporo, Japan.