First Proof That Wild Animals Really Can Communicate With Us
A long-known relationship between African men who harvest honey and a bird called a honeyguide makes it easier for both species to eat the delectable treat.
When humans speak up, the little African birds called honeyguides listen—and can understand, a new study confirms for the first time.
Honeyguides in northern Mozambique realize that when a man makes a special trilling sound, he wants to find a bees’ nest—and its delectable honey.
Birds that hear this trill often lead human hunters to a nest, receiving a reward of honeycomb.
Communication between domesticated species and people is well known, but “the fascinating point in the case of the honeyguide is that it describes such a relationship between a wild animal and humans,” says behavioral biologist Claudia Wascher of Anglia Ruskin University in Great Britain, who was not involved with the new research.
“This has not been described scientifically before.”