Indicator is a genus of near passerine birds in the honeyguide family. The name refers to the behaviour of some species, notably the Greater Honeyguide, which guide large mammals such as ratels and humans to bee colonies so that they can share in the spoils of wax and insects when the nest is broken into.
Indicator honeyguides are brood parasites which lay eggs in a nest of another species, in a series of about five during five to seven days. Most favour hole-nesting species, often the related barbets and woodpeckers. Nestlings have been known to physically eject their host's chicks from the nest, and they have hooks on their beaks with which they puncture the hosts' eggs or kill the nestlings, by repeated lacerations if not a fatal stab.
The species, in taxonomic order, are
- Genus Indicator
- Spotted Honeyguide, Indicator maculatus
- Scaly-throated Honeyguide, Indicator variegatus
- Greater Honeyguide, Indicator indicator
- Malaysian Honeyguide, Indicator archipelagicus
- Lesser Honeyguide, Indicator minor
- Thick-billed Honeyguide, Indicator conirostris
- Willcocks's Honeyguide, Indicator willcocksi
- Least Honeyguide, Indicator exilis
- Dwarf Honeyguide, Indicator pumilio
- Pallid Honeyguide, Indicator meliphilus
- Yellow-rumped Honeyguide, Indicator xanthonotus
- Barlow, Clive, Tim Wacher, and Tony Disley (1997). A Field Guide to the Birds of the Gambia and Senegal. A. & C. Black (Publishers) Ltd. ISBN 1-873403-32-1.
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