Greater Honeyguide

The Greater Honeyguide (Indicator indicator) gets its common name from it’s behaviour of guiding humans to the nests of honey bees, by giving agitated chattery, piping calls.

Since early in the 20th century, it has been noted that in many parts of Africa, Greater Honeyguides are present but seem no longer regularly to guide people to bees’ nests, presumably because people no longer follow them.

This juvenile Greater Honeyguide is the first one that showed itself to us from a close distance. We have heard their calls before, and seen specks in trees, but had no proper sightings before this one. Seen in Selous while staying at Lake Manze Camp Selous (Tanzania).

The Honeyguide Research Project wants to map the current extent of guiding behaviour, to track it over time, and in the process better understand how honeyguides acquire (and lose) their ability to engage in this fascinating interaction with our own species. Please help and share your sightings of Greater Honeyguides at More information can be found here:

Click on photo to view all pictures of the Greater Honeyguide.

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