Feel­ing broody?

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go! - - Q&a -

This month’s let­ters are all about our feath­ered friends. The ex­perts an­swer your bird-re­lated ques­tions. Write to

QTINA VISSER writes: I took this photo on a week­end break­away in the Stanger area. This is an African hoopoe feed­ing a greater hon­eyguide. Is this com­mon be­hav­iour?

ABird ex­pert JO­HAN VAN ROOYEN says: Honeyguides are brood par­a­sites and lay their eggs in a va­ri­ety of host nests. Ac­cord­ing to Roberts VII, greater honeyguides pre­fer hosts that nest in holes in the ground or in trees, like hoopoes, wood-hoopoes, king­fish­ers, wood­peck­ers and bee-eaters. If the hoopoe hatches the egg, it con­sid­ers the chick its own and rears it.

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