honey guide

honey guide

noun
any of several small, usually dull-colored birds of the family Indicatoridae, of Africa and southern Asia, certain species of which are noted for their habit of leading people or animals to nests of honeybees in order to feed on the honey, larvae, and wax of the nests after they have been broken open.
Also, honeyguide.


Origin:
1780–90

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World English Dictionary
honey guide
 
n
any small bird of the family Indicatoridae, inhabiting tropical forests of Africa and Asia and feeding on beeswax, honey, and insects: order Piciformes (woodpeckers, etc)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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honey guide

any of about a dozen species of birds constituting the family Indicitoridae (order Piciformes). The honey guide gets its name from two African species, the greater, or black-throated, honey guide (Indicator indicator) and the scaly-throated honey guide (I. variegatus), that exhibit a unique pattern of behaviour: the bird leads a ratel (honey badger) or a man to a bees' nest by its chattering and flying ahead; after the larger animal takes honey, the bird eats the wax (the only vertebrate known to do so) and bee larvae.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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