New field season underway in Zambia

Sep 15, 2016

The spring leaves are unfurling in Zambia’s miombo woodlands at the end of the dry season, and birds are breeding. Assisted by our usual wonderful field team, Luke McClean is starting his MSc research at the University of Cape Town on honeyguide-host interactions (with a special focus on Lesser Honeyguides and their Black-collared Barbet hosts), Nick Horrocks and Kiyoko Gotanda from the University of Cambridge are working on the trade-off that ground-nesting birds face between having their eggs cooked or eaten, and we welcome a film crew from Germany to film honeyguide-host interactions, ably assisted by Jeroen Koorevaar. See new photos uploaded to the Dry Season Fieldwork Gallery

News

New paper on host-specific mimicry by indigobird and whydah chicks

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.

Pick of the month in Trends in Ecology and Evolution

Dr Gabriel Jamie and Dr Joana Meier’s paper “The Persistence of Polymorphisms across Species Radiations” has been selected by Trends in Ecology and Evolution as the journal Editor’s pick of the month. Read the full paper here: https://tinyurl.com/y29l4ygr

Launching Honeyguiding.me for all bird enthusiasts in Africa!

Honeyguiding.me is a citizen science project for which we welcome all records of Greater Honeyguides anywhere in Africa. Visit our Honeyguiding.me project site in English, en français & em Português!
Please also follow the Honeyguide Research Project on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram @honeyguiding.