Honeyguide

© Nigel Dennis

South Africa is home to both honeyguides and honeybirds, with honeyguides being larger than honeybirds.

Honeyguides have the Genus Indicator, implying they can guide people or other animals to honey. Honeybirds have the Genus Prodotiscus, roughly translated as betrayer, possibly implying that they do not guide people or animals to honey.

All honeyguides in South Africa are brood parasites, meaning they lay their eggs in another bird’s nest and leave the other bird to incubate and raise their chicks.

Honeyguides and honeybirds are among the only animals, including birds, that are able to digest beeswax. This practise is called cerophagy.

Greater Honeyguide

The greater honeyguide is around 20 cm in length. The greater honeyguide has dark brown to grey upperparts and white underparts, with a black throat and a white stripe on the side of the tail....more

Lesser Honeyguide

The lesser honeyguide is around 15 cm in length. The lesser honeyguide has dark grey upperparts and lighter underparts, with a black malar stripe....more