Our Greater Honeyguides killing their Little Bee-eater hosts star in the ‘Sex, Lies and Dirty Tricks’ episode of BBC Natural History Unit’s “World’s Sneakiest Animals” TV series, presented by Chris Packham. The first broadcast is at 20h00 on 14 January 2015, on BBC Two. The Natural History Unit team visited us in Zambia in October 2014 to film, ably facilitated in the field by Jeroen Koorevaar and Nicholas Horrocks.
In a new paper published in Evolution, Dr Gabriel Jamie along with Silky Hamama, Collins Moya and Prof. Claire Spottiswoode from the African Cuckoos team and collaborators from University of Puerto Rico (Steven Van Belleghem), Princeton University (Dr Cassie Stoddard and Dr Ben Hogan) and University of Cambridge (Professor Rebecca Kilner) provide evidence of host-specific mimicry in the indigobirds and whydahs of Africa. Building on the pioneering work of Robert Payne and Jürgen Nicolai, they provide quantitative evidence that nestling Vidua finches mimic the patterns, colours and begging calls of their host’s nestling, and qualitative evidence of mimicry of host movements.