Greater Honeyguide Indicator indicator
Greater Honeyguide, Mole, Ghana, June 2011 - click for larger image

Ghana
June 2011

The Greater Honeyguide is distributed in Africa south of the Sahara and is found in a wide variety of habitats apart from dense forest, swamps and barren deserts.

Greater Honeyguide, Mole, Ghana, June 2011 - click for larger image It feeds on beeswax both from active and abandoned hives but also on grubs or eggs from the hive. It guides humans to bee hives probably in a symbiotic relationship whereby the humans will break open the hive to extract the honey after smoking out the bees which allows the Honeyguide to get at the beeswax.

The male has a whitish ear patch, a blackish throat and a pinkish bill though colours fade with time. There is also a yellow wing patch which is not always visible. The female is duller, lacking the head pattern and with a dark bill.

The guiding call is a loud, fast chattering but it also has a song WHIT-birr-WHIT--birr... ending with a single WHIT.

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