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GALLERIES > BIRDS > SYLVIOIDEA > ZOSTEROPIDAE > CAPE WHITE-EYE [Zosterops capensis]


Cape White-eye Picture
 
 

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SPECIES INFO

Binomial name Zosterops pallidus
Swainson, 1838

The Cape White-eye, Zosterops pallidus, is a small passerine bird in the white-eye family. It is an endemic resident breeder in forests, woodland and gardens in South Africa and Namibia. It is partially migratory, with some seasonal movements.

Taxonomy

There are seven subspecies. The nominate western subspecies is sometimes split as the Orange River White-eye, Zosterops pallidus, leaving the eastern races as Cape White-eye, Z. capensis. The Orange River White-eye prefers drier, more open woodland than the eastern forms, and the ranges of the two populations do not overlap.

Identification

This species is about 12 cm long with rounded wings, strong legs, and a conspicuous ring of white feathers round the eyes. The upperparts plumage is green, and the throat and vent are bright yellow. The Orange River White-eye has a pale yellow central belly with peach coloured flanks, whereas the Cape subspecies has a grey breast and belly. However, the subspecies from Mpumalanga has a green-washed breast and belly.

The contact call is a sweet twee tuuu twee twee, higher pitched and more trilled in the Orange River White-eye. The territorial call is surprisingly loud for a small bird.

Behaviour

This is a sociable species forming large flocks outside the breeding season. It builds a cup nest in a tree and lays 2-3 unspotted pale blue eggs. The eggs hatch in 11"?12 days, and fledging occurs in another 12"?13 days. The peak breeding season is September to December.

The Cape White-eye feeds mainly on insects, but also soft fleshy flowers, nectar, fruit and small grains. It readily comes to bird feeders.





                                     



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