Strange Science: Communication between Birds and Humans

Illustration of the honeyguide birdWhile many people chirp or make other noises at their pet birds or birds in the wild, humans and birds in Mozambique actually communicate with one another through the sounds they make.

The Yao people of Mozambique and the honeyguide birds (Indicator indicator) work together to locate honey and the honeycombs that contain the sweet treat. The birds are experts at finding the hives, but they need the help of the humans to acquire the honeycomb that they want. So for more than 500 years, these birds and humans have communicated in order to maintain their mutualistic relationship. Either a bird finds a human and indicates that it has found a hive, or a human who wants to look for honey will call for a bird as a guide.

Though this relationship has been going on for a significant amount of time, it was documented for the first time in 2016. You can read more about that process and the results here!

Follow us online:
This entry was posted in Strange Science and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.