Honey-guide, or Guide Bird, a small climbing bird related to the woodpeckers. Honey-guides are named for their habit of leading ratels (honey badgers) and humans to bees' nests in trees; when the nests have been broken open, they feed on the honey and beeswax. They also feed on bee larvae and other kinds of insects. Honey-guides are about 10 inches (25 cm) long. Most species are plain colored and have large heads and rather stout bills. The toes are arranged in pairs for climbing. Honey-guides lay their eggs in the nests of other kinds of birds.
Eight or nine species of honey-guides are native to Africa, two species to southeastern Asia. The African species include the black-throated honey-guide and the lyre-tailed honey-guide, both common in the jungles. The Himalayan honey-guide is native to Nepal and northern India.
The black-throated honey-guide is Indicator indicator. The lyre-tailed belongs to genus Melichneutes. The Himalayan is I. xanthonotus. Honey-guides belong to the family Indicatoridae.