A SWEET GAME OF FOLLOW-THE-LEADER
Updated: Jul 14, 2020
You can talk to the animals, apparently with the help of thousands of years of evolution. The Greater Honeyguide Birds and the Hadza, an African tribe of hunter-gatherers in northern Tanzania, have formed a rare and unique mutualistic bond. It’s one that completely blew me away while researching for my book, Perl; I just had to incorporate into the story.
The hunters call to the birds with series of “brr” calls and whistles. The birds will then fly ahead, leading them to the bee hives. The Greater Honeyguide Birds (Latin for Indicator indicator - of course perfectly named), know that the Hadza gatherers have the fire and smoke to clear the bees, something that they need. It’s truly an amazing win-win, honey-for-them-both friendship!