Thanks to the wonderful support of a European Research Council Consolidator Grant, we are starting a new project on the evolution and ecology of the mutualistic relationship between honeyguides and human honey-hunters, working mainly in Mozambique, as well as Zambia, Tanzania, and elsewhere. New project website to come in due course! Warmest thanks to the ERC for their support.
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.