Spotted honeyguide

Indicator maculatus

TAXONOMY

Indicator maculatus G. R. Gray, 1847. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Indicateur tacheté German: Tropfenbrust-Honiganzeiger; Spanish: Indicador Moteado.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

6.75 in (16.5 cm). Olive-brown with some green tinges above, brownish underparts with parallel rows of yellow-white spots running from the throat to tail. Crown has array of small spots that echo rows on the underside. No appreciable sexual dichro-matism. Bill is short, stout, and conical.

DISTRIBUTION

Equatorial Africa from Senegambia to eastern Zaire.

HABITAT

Dense, lowland forest along rivers. BEHAVIOR

Similar to that of its close relative, the scaly-throated honeyguide. Individuals are solitary, roaming about the forest canopy most of the time, but regularly foraging at lower levels. Most prominent vocalization is trill like that of the scaly-throated honeyguide's, described as low "brrrr" or "prrrr." Other voicings include a loud "woe-woe-woe" similar to calls of falcons or eagles, with tail fanned and body feathers puffed.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Forages throughout all forest levels, but prefers the canopy. Regularly search out beeswax sites, and vary that diet with caterpillars, beetles, other insects, and spiders.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Preferred host species is buff-spotted woodpecker (Campethera nivosa). Plumage approximates that of woodpecker, so they enhance their brood parasitism by imitating the woodpecker's voice.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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