restricted access Honeyguides
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Lesser Honeyguide L: 14 cm (5·5") The Lesser Honeyguide is similar to the Greater Honeyguide in overall shape and in having bold white outer tail feathers, but is much smaller . It also has a chunkier bill with a small white spot at the base, a slate-grey head with black moustachial streaks, and an olive-green back (in contrast to the Greater Honeyguide which has a plain brownish crown and back) . Lesser Honeyguide is an uncommon and unobtrusive bird throughout Kruger and, like the Greater Honeyguide, is most often seen in flight . The call is a continuous series of strident “swiiit, swiiit, swiiit” notes . This species is not known to guide, but still feeds on beeswax, bees and other insects . Honeyguides are true oddities. Some species guide both humans and Honey Badgers to bees’nests, where they expect their followers to take the honey, leaving the eggs, larvae and wax to the honeyguide. This behaviour seems to be genetically determined. There are many folk tales of spurned honeyguides exacting revenge by leading people to dangerous animals, but this is neither proven nor likely. Honeyguides, like cuckoos, are brood parasites and exploit hole-nesters such as woodpeckers and barbets to raise their chicks. Honeyguides chicks have hook-tipped bills, and upon hatching will maul or eject any host chicks in the nest to improve their own chances of survival. Honeyguides 110 Greater Honeyguide L: 19 cm (7·5") Its upright posture, dull grey-brown coloration, and conspicuous white outer feathers to the short tail identify this bird as a honeyguide . The Greater Honeyguide can be distinguished by an unmarked grey-brown back and crown, with frosted white edgings to the shoulder feathers . The sexes differ: males have a distinctive pink bill, black throat and large white ‘ear-muffs’; females have a black bill and pale throat . Immatures are also distinctive, having a yellow throat and breast . The smaller Lesser Honeyguide has a streaky green back and wings, and all-grey (not brown) head . Greater Honeyguide is a widespread but uncommon and inconspicuous bird in Kruger, most often seen in undulating flight or tracked down by a series of strident two-note “VIC-tor, VIC-tor, VIC-tor” vocalizations . BIRDS OF BROADLEAVED WOODLAND AND CAMPS male female 111 ...