About the Author

Jess Shillaw

Guest contributor

Jess was born in Kwazulu/Natal but grew up in Cape Town. Having an innate love for all things wild but getting to spend little time in the bush while growing up, she headed straight for the Lowveld after school. She completed a guiding ...

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on Guided to Honey

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An amazing experience Jess. I watched the dicumentary Into the Okovango awhile ago and as the explorers reached the end of their destination one of the guys followed a honey guide, “calling” the bird, was led to the honey and told the story that you must always leave something for the honey guide. It was fascinating.

It is these types of special relationships we share with animals that shows us how connected we really are to nature.

Senior Digital Ranger

I loved this post, Jess. It was fascinating. So interesting about the rock paintings and the tribesmen whistles. Thank you for sharing!

I’m glad you enjoyed it, Carolyn! It is fascinating how ancient tribesmen and findings continually impact on modern humanity.

Jess, What a great story! We have never seen a honey badger – they move pretty fast. Your story does make sense though – especially the need of the bird to get to the honey with the help of the badger. They do need each other to get to the sweet stuff!

I agree, Honey badgers are a rare sighting even more so if they are stationary. You can only imagine how difficult it would be for a honeyguide to try use it’s small beak to access the beehive so it is pretty impressive that the bird has learnt to use the skills of the honey badger to break it open.

Senior Digital Ranger

Jess – loved this blog with such interesting and info about precious relationships in the wild.

Thank you, Jennifer! I’m glad you loved it.

Jess, wonderful story. I love birds, but did not know of the Honeyguide.

Another of nature’s lessons of life: Always be a good neighbor.

I agree and to be patient!

Master Tracker

What a super post – thanks Jess.

Nature never ceases to amaze me! I never thought a bird and human would whistle to one another which would lead to food….honey. Then enter the honey badger. Wonderful blog and so interesting!

What a fascinating account of an experience you had while in training mode. I hadn’t known of the Honey guide and it’s remarkable that this bird can work in tandem with humans and the honey badgers. And as ancient storytelling points out, it’s always better to share when having been rewarded then to selfishly keep all for yourself.

Yes thank you! It was a really special and knowledgeable experience!

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