I found this  in The Standard, Nairobi, where is stated: "Whistling melodiously, he looks around. After a short while he gazes into the horizon. Noticing my perplexed expression, he smiles and says: "That is one of the ways of communicating with the birds that help us to locate honey." The Boni love honey. Usually, the small and rare bird responds to the whistling by taking off in a particular direction as the honey hunter tracks it. Finally, it would settle on a tree and dive up and down — an indication that it had found honey. The hunters extract the honey from beehives with their bare hands."
This would mean, that human not only follow Honeyguides, but can communicate with them and make them search on command. I am no zoologist, cannot check that, but perhaps some experts?
Vkoenigsbuescher 12:00, 29 May 2007 (UTC)vkoenigsbuescher (Volker)
- I hope an expert shows up. It seems to me, though, that what this extract means is that the Boni believe they can summon honeyguides and the reporter believed them. The article doesn't say that any bird responded to the whistle. The descriptions I've seen say that honeyguides show up and fly toward bee colonies, so it's no surprise that they do that whether a person is whistling or not. —JerryFriedman 23:50, 30 May 2007 (UTC)
- The 16th century Catholic missionary to Ethiopia, Fr. Jeronimo Lobo, in his description of the Greater Honeyguide, makes it clear that there is some kind of communication between this bird & the native inhabitants: "They assemble a group of people ... [who] disperse wth their containers looking for these little birds... And as this carefule discoverer searches no less diligently knowing that people are following him, he keeps searching and singing very gaily, placing himself where he can be seen and heard, giving evidence of his presence until they discern and take heed of him, and flying in search of the of the honey, he leads behind him the investigators or collectors of the poor little bees' work." (Donald M. Lockhart (translator), The Itinerário of Jerónimo Lobo (London: Hakluyt Society, 1984),p. 169) Whether or not humans can talk to these birds, it is certain that they intentionally communicate to humans. This interaction left Lobo so amazed that he concludes this account by pairing the abundance of cattle with this marvel of honey-gathering, & called Ethiopia the land of milk and honey. -- llywrch 05:39, 26 June 2007 (UTC)