Birds of the Bible – Honeyguide?

Brown-backed (Wahlberg's) Honeybird (Prodotiscus regulus) byWiki

Brown-backed (Wahlberg’s) Honeybird (Prodotiscus regulus) byWiki

The Honeyguide is an interesting bird. They are not mentioned specifically in the Bible by “name”, but all birds are mentioned whether named or not. The Lord God created all of them on the fifth day and declared them good.

And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. (Genesis 1:21-23 KJV)

Honeyguides love the honey, wax, larvae or whatever else is found in the honeycomb. In fact, it was created with such a cooperative instinct, that it helps others find the honey and in return, it gets fed also. The scientist today call it “mutualism” or “sembiotic relationship”. There is a Honey Badger (Ratal) that can’t see so well but loves the same things in the honeycomb and the Honeyguide “guides” it to the honey source. The bird first finds the bee’s nest, but since it is too weak to tear the comb apart, it finds the badger. Then by flitting its wings and making a fuss, it slowly leads the critter to the nest. He or she, does the hard work. The badger tears the bee’s nest apart with its paws and enjoys the meal. There is always enough left over that the bird gets its share of the meal also. Of course God has given the badger its instinct to let the bird lead it to honey also. They both need each other to make this work.

The bird has also been known to lead humans to a honey source. “One researcher found use of honeyguides by the Boran people of East Africa reduces the search time of people for honey by approximately two-thirds. Because of this benefit, the Boran use a specific loud whistle, known as the “Fuulido”, when a search for honey is about to begin. The “Fuulido” doubles the encounter rate with honeyguides” (Wikipedia)

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones. (Proverbs 16:24 KJV)
My son, eat thou honey, because it is good; and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste: (Proverbs 24:13 KJV)

The Lord Jesus even was served fish and a honeycomb after His resurrection.

And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. (Luke 24:42 KJV)

Yellow-rumped Honeyguide (Indicator xanthonotus) by A Grosset

Yellow-rumped Honeyguide (Indicator xanthonotus) by A Grosset

The Honeyguide is in the Indicatoridae Family which has 17 members and are in the Piciformes Order. Recently three of the birds were changed from Honeyguides to Honeybirds, but they all love honey. Most honeyguides are dull-colored, though a few have bright yellow in the plumage. All have light outer tail feathers, which are white in all the African species. The two honeyguides, the Greater Honeyguide and the Scaly-throated Honeyguide, are the most studied for this behavior.

The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. (Psalms 19:9-10 KJV)

See Also:

Birds of the Bible

Creation Moments – Helpful Honeyguide

Wikipedia – Honeyguides
Don Roberson’s Bird Families of the World – Honeyguides Indicatoridae