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Scaly-throated Honeyguide - BirdForum Opus

Photo by jpbirdman
Location: Mkhuze, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Indicator variegatus


Length 18-19 cm, mass 36-56 g; a large honeyguide. The throat is yellowish white with fine, dark streaks and the breast is mottled. The forecrown is dark with whitish flecks.


Africa: Ethiopia to Angola, Zambia and south-eastern South Africa.




Forest and dense woodland. Possibly favours forest-woodland mosaic.


Food includes beeswax, honeybees (pupae, larvae and adults) and other insects; also sometimes eats seeds and fruit.


The main call (by the male) is a loud trill, trrrrrrrr, starting as a low croak and rising in pitch; it lasts 3-4 seconds and repeated at 20- to 68-second intervals.


Territorial and brood parasitic. Hosts nest in holes in trees and include Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Knysna Woodpecker, Cardinal Woodpecker, Olive Woodpecker, Black-collared Barbet, Whyte's Barbet, Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird.


  1. Hockey, PAR, WRJ Dean, and PG Ryan, eds. 2005. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa. 7th ed. Cape Town: John Voelcker Bird Book Fund. ISBN 978-0620340533
  2. Sinclair, I and P Ryan. 2003. Birds of Africa South of the Sahara. Princeton: Princeton Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0691118154

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