Avian and Attributes – Teardrop White-eye

Teardrop White-eye (Rukia ruki) | ©IBC- Janos Olah

Teardrop White-eye (Rukia ruki) | ©IBC- Janos Olah

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4 KJV)

TEAR, n.
1. Tears are the limpid fluid secreted by the lacrymal gland, and appearing in the eyes, or flowing from them. A tear, in the singular, is a drop or a small quantity of that fluid. Tears are excited by passions, particularly by grief. This fluid is also called forth by any injury done to the eye. It serves to moisten the cornea and preserve its transparency, and to remove any dust or fine substance that enters the eye and gives pain.
2. Something in the form of a transparent drop of fluid matter.

Teardrop White-eye aka Great Truk White-eye stamp from IBCollection

Teardrop White-eye aka Faichuk white-eye stamp from IBCollection

The Teardrop White-eye (Rukia ruki), also known as the Faichuk white-eye, Truk white-eye, or great Truk white-eye, is a species of bird in the Zosteropidae family. Some advocate that it is the only true member of the genus Rukia, or the “great white-eyes”.

It is endemic to the summit of Mount Winipat on Tol, in the Faichuk group of islands within the Chuuk (Truk) atoll in Micronesia. Its habitat is montane rainforest dominated by the endemic Chuuk poisontree. Due to its restricted range on one small mountaintop and the locals’ disdain for the native poisontree, it is severely threatened by habitat loss. [Wikipedia with editing]

More photos – Not many on the internet that aren’t copyrighted:

Teardrop White-eye – Wikipedia
Teardrop White-eye – HB Alive
Zosteropidae – White-eyes Family
More Avian and Attributes
Birds whose first name starts with “T”

Gospel Message

Sunday Inspiration – White Eyes

Reunion Olive White-eye (Zosterops olivaceus) ©WikiC

Reunion Olive White-eye (Zosterops olivaceus) ©WikiC

Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. (John 4:35 KJV)

The Zosteropidae – White-eyes Family is passerine birds that live in the tropical and subtropical Sub-Saharan Africa, Australasia and eastern Asia. White-eyes inhabit most tropical islands in the Indian Ocean, the western Pacific Ocean, and the Gulf of Guinea. There are currently 127 members in the family. Most are White-eyes, a Silvereye, a Blackeye, a Darkeye, 4 Speirops, 11 Yuhinas, and about a dozen Babblers.

Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis) by Ian

Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis) by Ian

As their common name implies, many species have a conspicuous ring of tiny white feathers around their eyes. The scientific name of the group also reflects this latter feature, being derived from the Ancient Greek for “girdle-eye”. They have rounded wings and strong legs. Like many other nectivorous birds, they have slender, pointed bills, and brush-tipped tongues. The size ranges up to 15 cm (6 inches) in length. (Wikipedia)

Stripe-throated Yuhina (Yuhina gularis) ©WikiC

Stripe-throated Yuhina (Yuhina gularis) ©WikiC

I trust you will enjoy getting to know and see another enchantingly created family of birds from Our Creator.

But mine eyes are unto thee, O GOD the Lord: in thee is my trust; (Psalms 141:8a KJV)

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“Come, Look To Jesus” ~ Played by Jill Foster at Faith Baptist (during Communion)


More Sunday Inspiration

Zosteropidae – White-eyes

Birds of the World Families

White-eye – Wikipedia

Is There A God?


Ian’s Bird of the Week – Silvereye

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Silvereye ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 9/18/15

Two weeks ago we had the obscure Small Lifou White-eye as bird of the week. This week we have what is probably its best known relative – at least in Australasia – the Silvereye. I mentioned that the members of the White-eye family are expert colonisers of small islands in the Indian and western Pacific Oceans. The Silvereye is no exception and provides a particularly interesting case-study in bio-geography that is unusual in that some of its range expansion is both historically recent and well documented.

Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis) by Ian

I’ll return to that later after looking at its range and variation in Australia. Here it occurs in coastal and sub-coastal regions from the tip of Cape York clockwise around Australia to Shark Bay in Western Australia, including Tasmania. Between Shark Bay and western Cape York it is replaced by the Australian Yellow White-eye. Currently, about nine races are recognised. The nominate race, lateralis, is Tasmanian and visually the most distinctive having cinnamon-coloured flanks, which is presumably what John Latham was referring to when he described the species in 1801 only 13 years after European settlement.

Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis) by Ian

There are five mainland races ranging northeastern Queensland to Western Australia. The differences between these are subtle and the race grade into one another. Townsville, second photo, is in the zone of intergradation between the Cape York race (vegetus) and the eastern Australian one (cornwalli). Note the lack of the cinnamon flanks and the clear demarcation between the yellowish-green head and the grey back and compare that with the Western Australian race ,third photo, which has a green back and to which its sub-specific name chloronotus refers. (I’m using the words race and subspecies interchangeably here).

Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis) by Ian

There are three island races in addition to the Tasmanian one and they occur on King Island in Bass Strait; the islands of the Barrier Reef notably Heron Island; and on Lord Howe Island. The Lord Howe one, aptly name robusta, is larger and stronger than the nominate race and survived the introduction of mice and rats. That’s an interesting little story in its own right as it became very rare, was thought to have become extinct like other Lord Howe Island species and the nominate race was deliberately introduced to replace it. To everyone’s surprise the indigenous race survived, adapted to the presence of the rodents, recovered and the introduction of the nominate race was unsuccessful.

Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis) by Ian

If you go farther afield to Norfolk Island expecting to find a distinctive looking local Silvereye, you’d be in for a surprise, fourth photo, as the locals, complete with cinnamon flanks, are indistinguishable from the nominate race, which it in fact is. If you went to New Zealand, the same thing would happen and you would find the nominate race on both main islands, Stewart Island, Chatham Island and the sub-Antarctic islands such as Snares, the Aucklands and Chatham. What happens if you head north and end up in New Caledonia? On the main island, you’d find this race, fifth photo, called griseonota, meaning, of course, ‘grey-backed’. Apart from the black smudge on the face, it looks to me very like the Cape York race.

Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis) by Ian

So what, you may ask, is happening? The proliferation of race suggests a sedentary species with little genetic mixing between neighbouring populations but this is contradicted by the widespread range of the Tasmanian race which suggests genetic flow between Tasmanian, Norfolk Island and New Zealand. In fact both are true to some extent, and this is where history comes to the rescue. Here is a map that I’ve drawn up showing the different races of the Silvereye using the basic range map from Handbook of Birds of the World (HBW) as a template. The different colours represent races. The red one is the nominate race; the other Australian races are shown in varying shades of blue and green and black; the New Caledonian races (three) in grey, the Vanuatu races (three) in purple and the Fiji race in indigo.

Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis) by Ian Map

The Tasmanian race isn’t completely sedentary. At least part of the population, probably mainly young birds, disperse in autumn and move Victoria and New South Wales for the winter. The Victorian ornithologist Alfred North noticed the change in plumage and ascribed it to winter and summer plumages. It was only later that it was realised that the change in appearance didn’t coincide with moulting in the mainland birds and the truth emerged. Incidentally, Latham’s original specimen came from ‘Port Jackson’ (Sydney) and must have been a Tasmanian bird.

As any blue-water sailor will tell you, the weather in Bass Strait between Tasmania and Victoria is notorious and a pleasant sail, or flight, in calm conditions can suddenly become a nightmare when a low pressure system and its associated cold front can arrive from the southwest. Powerful weather systems move continuously in an easterly direction between Tasmania and New Zealand. Have a look at the current four-day weather chart: http://www.bom.gov.au/australia/charts/4day_col.shtml. Another clue comes from the Maori name for the Silvereye: ‘tauhou’ meaning ‘stranger’. Silvereyes were rare vagrants to New Zealand until 1856 when large numbers appeared in the Welllington district, became established and spread to other parts of New Zealand. Similarly, Silvereyes first appeared in Norfolk Island in 1904 and it as assumed that these came from New Zealand rather than Tasmania. Silvereyes have benefitted from European settlement in Australia and it may be that is also a factor in their recent colonisation of New Zealand and Norfolk Island.

I wonder how the Silvereyes got to New Caledonia, Vanuatu and Fiji? These all look more like the Cape York race than the nominate one. Tropical cyclones in the Coral Sea are famously erratic and often head from Queensland to New Caledonia, so it looks as if the weather could play the main role here.

I’m going to stop here. I was going to talk about names and languages as well, but you can work that out for yourselves. We’ve already had cloronotus and griseonota for Australian races. Combine that with the French for Silvereye ‘Lunette a dos gris’ and the New Caledonian endemic Green-backed White-eye: ‘Lunette a dos vert’. Globally, there are almost 100 species of White-eye, not to mention races, and they nearly all look much the same, so pity any unfortunate taxonomists trying to be original.

And here’s a paper that I found interesting: http://aviculturalsocietynsw.org/_PDFs/Silvereye.pdf. You can check out photos of various White-eyes here: http://www.birdway.com.au/zosteropidae/index.htm.


Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737 ian@birdway.com.au
Bird Photos http://www.birdway.com.au/

And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. (Genesis 1:22-23 ESV)

Lee’s Addition:

Well, Ian really got informative on these Silvereyes. Very interesting, at least to me. When the Lord commanded the birds to cover the earth and reproduce, these little avian wonders with beautiful silver eye rings seem to have obeyed.


Ian’s Bird of the Week

Ian’s Zosteropidae Family

Wordless Hummers


Ian’s Bird of the Week – Small Lifou White-eye

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Small Lifou White-eye (and random Sacred Kingfisher) ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 8/27/15

I’m a night-owl, as you may know already, so here is a photo of a noteworthy event: boarding a flight to the Loyalty Islands in complete darkness at 6:00am at Magenta, the domestic airport in Noumea. The goal was to check out several endemic species of birds that occur on two of the Loyalty Islands, Lifou and Ouvéa. The Lifou endemics were supposed to be easy to find near the airport, so we spent a morning there looking for them on foot before flying on to Ouvéa where we had booked a rental car and accommodation for the night (more about Ouvéa next time).

Magenta, the domestic airport in Noumea by Ian

Magenta, the domestic airport in Noumea by Ian

The Loyalty Islands, part of the French Territory of New Caledonia, are supposedly named after an obscure whaling ship called Loyalty or Loyalist built in Nova Scotia in 1788 that is thought to have come across them in 1790. The first recorded Western contact was three years later when another whaler, the Britannia, found them on a voyage from Norfolk Island to Batavia. Melanesians settled the islands about 3000 years ago and the French annexed them in the mid-nineteenth century.

Map of Lifou - New Caledonia

Map of Lifou – New Caledonia

Lifou has two endemic White-eyes, cousins of the Silvereye which also occurs there. The endemic ones are called, accurately but unimaginatively, the Small and Large Lifou White-eyes. The small one we found without difficulty and it is indeed small with a length of 10-11cm/4-4-4.3in and weighting 7.5-9g/0.26-0.31g. Its diagnostic feature is the white flanks, most obvious in the third of its photos.

Small Lifou White-eye (Zosterops minutus) by Ian

We search quite hard but unsuccessfully for the Large Lifou White-eye. It’s very large for a White-eye (15cm/6in) making it even larger than the Giant White-eye (Megazosterops palauensis) of Palau. Interestingly both of these large species lack the white eye-rings that gives them, and the Silvereye, their common names. The Small Lifou White-eye feeds mainly on insects while the large one shows a preference for fruit. This specialisation in diet and divergence in size is to expected in similar species occupying the same habitat, but these two seem to have taken it to extremes.

Small Lifou White-eye (Zosterops minutus) by Ian

The Small Lifou White-eye is close related to the slightly larger Green-backed White-eye (fourth White-eye photo). It occurs on the main island of Grande Terre, the Isle of Pines (south of Grande Terre) and on Maré southwest of Lifou. Meanwhile there are three local races of the Silvereye, one on Grande Terre and the Isle of Pines, another on Maré and Ouvéa and the third on Lifou.

Small Lifou White-eye (Zosterops minutus) by Ian

This complex pattern of colonisation and speciation is typical of members of the family, the Zosteropidae. This is a very successful Old World family with almost 100 species in Africa, Asia and Australasia. They seem to be experts at colonizing out of the way islands, occurring on many islands in the Indian and eastern Pacific Oceans, where they settle down and develop new races and species. White-eyes are very sociable, so it is easy to imagine flocks being blown around by storms or cyclones and making landfall in sufficient numbers to colonise new places.

Green-backed White-eye (Zosterops xanthochroa) by Ian

For the random bird of the week, here’s another species that is good at island hopping, the Sacred Kingfisher. Well known throughout all but the driest parts of mainland Australia it also occurs on some southwest Pacific islands including those of New Zealand and New Caledonia. It has one race on Grande Terre and the Isle of Pines and, you guessed it, another one on the Loyalty Islands, below. This race has very buff underparts and a shorter, slightly flattened bill.

Sacred Kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus) by Ian

Finishing on a quite unrelated matter, you may have come across recent news, if you live in Australia, about the ultimate in elusive birds , the Night Parrot and the work that Steve Murphy has been doing since its rediscovery by John Young. Bush Heritage Australia is raising money to create a sanctuary to protect this population in southwest Queensland. I’ve already made my (modest) donation and I’d ask you to do so too using this link to make a very practical contribution (yours doesn’t need to be modest) to conserving a very special bird.

Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737 ian@birdway.com.au
Bird Photos http://www.birdway.com.au/
Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au

Lee’s Addition:

Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! (John 4:35 NKJV)

I love those EYES! Every since learning about the White-eyes, they have become one of my favorite species. Thanks, Ian for sharing these adorable birds with us. Kingfishers are also a favorite.

My problem is that when I use my “eyes” to view the Lord’s fantastic birds, how can I not have a problem figuring out which ones are my “most” favorites. I love all of the Lord’s Avian Wonders. I trust you do also.


Ian’s Bird of the Week

Ian’s Birdway Zosteropidae Family

Zosteropidae – White-eyes

Wordless Birds


Oriental White-eye – The Grace Seeker..

Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus) ©WikiC

Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus) ©WikiC

Oriental White-eye – The Grace Seeker.. ~ by a j mithra

The Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus) is a small passerine bird in the white-eye family.

It is a resident breeder in open woodland in tropical Asia, east from the Indian Subcontinent to Southeast Asia, extending to Indonesia and Malaysia. They forage in small groups, feeding on nectar and small insects.

They are easily identified by the distinctive white eye-ring and overall yellowish upperparts. Several populations of this widespread species are named subspecies and some have distinctive variations in the extent and shades of yellows in their plumage.

This bird is small (about 8–9 cm long) with yellowish olive upper parts, a white eye ring, yellow throat and vent. The belly is whitish grey but may have yellow in some subspecies. The sexes look similar.

If we are called Christians, we need to look like Christ..

  • But, do we look like Christ or do people see Christ in us and through us?

We have just stepped into a new year, where many of us would have taken resolutions to eat less, quit smoking, stop watching porn stuff and maybe a resolution to stop taking resolutions…

  • But have we ever taken a resolution to walk like Christ, to talk like Christ and be like Christ?

People around us are watching us and expecting us to show Christ. You know?

Now is the time to take a resolution to be like Christ isn’t it?

For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. (Galatians 3:27)

Japanese White-eye (Zosterops japonicus) by W Kwong

Japanese White-eye (Zosterops japonicus) by W Kwong

The species is widespread and is part of a superspecies complex that includes Zosterops japonicus, Zosterops meyeni and possibly others. The species is found in a wide range of habitats from scrub to moist forest.

They sometimes occur on mangrove areas such as in the Karachi area. and on islands they may lead a more insectivorous life. They are somewhat rare only in the drier desert regions of western India. A feral population was detected in San Diego, California in the 1980’s and subsequently eradicated.

These white-eyes are sociable, forming flocks which only separate on the approach of the breeding season. They are highly arboreal and only rarely descend to the ground.

God too expects us to be highly arboreal (living in a tree)..

  • Adam tried to live on the tree of life but was chased away from God’s presence..
  • We have a tree, the CROSS TREE, where Christ – the Vine hung to make us more like Him..
  • Now is the time to check if we are Arboreal?

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

The breeding season is February to September but April is the peak breeding season and the compact cup nest is a placed like a hammock on the fork of a branch. The nest is made of cobwebs, lichens and plant fibre.
The nest is built in about 4 days and the two pale blue eggs are laid within a couple of days of each other. The eggs hatch in about 10 days. Both sexes take care of brooding the chicks which fledge in about 10 days Though mainly insectivorous, the Oriental White-eye will also eat nectar and fruits of various kinds.

They call frequently as they forage and the usual contact call is a soft nasal cheer.

They pollinate flower when they visit them for flower insects (such asthrips) and possibly nectar that form their diet. The forehead is sometimes coloured by pollen leading to mistaken identifications.

  • Do we visit Rose of Sharon and the Lilly of the valley every day and help in pollination?
  • If yes, why is that people are not able to witness pollen grains (Word of God) on most of our foreheads?

Therefore shall you lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. (Deuteronomy 11:18)

When nesting, they may mob palm squirrels but being small birds they are usually on the defensive. Their predators include bats (esp. Megaderma lyra) and birds such as the White-throated Kingfisher. Like some other white-eyes, they sometimes steal nest material from the nests of other birds Cases of interspecific feeding have been noted with white-eyes feeding the chicks of a Paradise Flycatcher.

They have been observed bathing in dew accumulated on leaves.

  • Do we remember, Israelites collected manna covered with the morning dew?

Which means feasting of Manna at dawn increases His grace in our life isn’t it? His grace is like early morning dew, this is what the Bible says right?

  • Without His grace it is unlikely for us to survive..

It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus) ©WikiC

Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus) ©WikiC

Although not strong fliers, they are capable of dispersing in winds and storms to new areas including offshore islands. Though these birds are not strong fliers, they still are able to disperse in wind and storm..

  • When we are weak , we need to remember that God uses the weak and the weary..
  • When you face a storm is life, just think of these birds and disperse in the storm…
  • For God always makes us lie down in green pastures and leads us beside still waters..
  • What storm is for others will be still waters for you and me, cos our Lord is our good Shepherd!

Apostle Paul had a thorn in His flesh, you know what God said?

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Lets seek for His bountiful grace each dawn to fly high above troubled waters..

Have a grace filled day!

Yours in YESHUA,
a j mithra

Lee’s Addition:

Read more from a j mitha

The White-eyes are in the Zosteropidae – White-eyes Family.


Ian’s Bird of the Week – Canary (Yellow) White-eye

Canary (yellow) White-eye (Zosterops luteus) by Ian

Canary (yellow) White-eye (Zosterops luteus) by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Yellow White-eye ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 4/15/11

This week’s bird, the Yellow White-eye is a mangrove-dwelling relative of the widespread and familiar Silvereye. While the Silvereye is well-known in gardens and orchards of all the more densely populated areas of mainland Australia and Tasmania, the Yellow White-eye is confined to coastal areas of northern Western Australia, the Northern Territory and northwestern Queensland with one very isolated population near Ayr south of Townsville. So you have to go out of your way to find it, but it is quite common in suitable habitat within its range.

Canary (yellow) White-eye (Zosterops luteus luteus) by Ian

Canary (yellow) White-eye (Zosterops luteus luteus) by Ian

The first photo was taken at Buffalo Creek near Darwin and the second near Karumba on the southern end of the Gulf of Carpentaria. Incidentally, I’d be interested to hear from anyone who can identify the pink-flowered shrub with the White-eye-sized fruit (Yellow White-eyes are 11-12cm/4.3-4.7in). Birds from these regions are yellower than the Western Australian birds and some taxonomists split the species into two sub-species. These yellower northern and eastern birds belong to the nominate race luteus while the greener birds in Western Australia belong to the race balstoni.

The third photo was taken at Roebuck Bay near the Broome Bird Observatory and belongs to this greener race. The difference is subtle and I imagine you would need to compare birds directly to see the distinction. More striking is how well the plumage matches the colour of the leaves of the mangroves. Like Silvereyes, Yellow White-eyes are very lively and vocal so if they are around, they are not hard to find.

Canary (yellow) White-eye (Zosterops luteus balstoni) by Ian

Canary (yellow) White-eye (Zosterops luteus balstoni) by Ian

The apparently endless wet season has finally ended in North Queensland and this week we have all been enjoying lovely sunny days and moonlit nights. I’m making preparations to travel with friends to the Easter campout being organised by the Northern NSW group of Birds Australia in Baradine in the Pilliga Scrub/Forest between Coonabarabran and Narrabri. There are some interesting birds there (I have my sights set on Turquoise Parrot) and I hope I’ll be able to share some of them with you.

Best wishes,

Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Phone: 0411 602 737 +61-411 602 737
Preferred Email: ian@birdway.com.au
Website: http://birdway.com.au

Thanks for introducing us to another interesting bird. The I.O.C. World Bird List has this bird as the Canary White-eye. This is another example of why the Scientific names are important. No matter what the bird is called, the scientific name assures that the same bird is being described.

I am trusting Ian will be able to capture through his lens that Turquoise Parrot. That sounds like another neat bird.

Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings, (Psalms 17:8 KJV)

After checking out Ian’s Zosteropidae Family photos, then check the Zosteropidae Family of the Passeriformes Order here.

White-eyes – Zosteropidae Family

Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis) by Ian

Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis) by Ian

I find the White-eyes fascinating little birds that have such a neat visible eye. The Lord has created another bird kind that has been obeying the command that it was given.

So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” (Genesis 1:21-22 NKJV)

Cape White-eye (Zosterops pallidus) by Ian

Cape White-eye (Zosterops pallidus) by Ian

The white-eyes are small passerine birds native to tropical, subtropical and temperate Sub-Saharan Africa, southern and eastern Asia, and Australasia. White-eyes inhabit most tropical islands in the Indian Ocean, the western Pacific Ocean, and the Gulf of Guinea. Discounting some widespread members of the genus Zosterops, most species are endemic to single islands or archipelagos. The Silvereye, Zosterops lateralis, naturally colonised New Zealand, where it is known as the “Wax-eye” or Tauhau (“stranger”), from 1855. The Silvereye has also been introduced to Hawaii as well as the Society Islands in French Polynesia.

White-eyes are mostly of undistinguished appearance, the plumage being generally greenish olive above, and pale grey below. Some species have a white or bright yellow throat, breast or lower parts, and several have buff flanks. As their common name implies, many species have a conspicuous ring of tiny white feathers around their eyes. The scientific name of the group also reflects this latter feature, being derived from the Ancient Greek for “girdle-eye”. They have rounded wings and strong legs. Like many other nectivorous birds, they have slender, pointed bills, and brush-tipped tongues. The size ranges up to 15 cm (6 in.) in length.

Matthew 6:26 says, “…yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” He has made a special tongue for them to accomplish this feat.

(YouTube by Ichiro0402Nakano)

All the species of white-eyes are sociable, forming large flocks which only separate on the approach of the breeding season. They build tree nests and lay 2-4 unspotted pale blue eggs. Though mainly insectivorous, they eat nectar and fruits of various kinds. The Silvereye can be a problem in Australian vineyards, through piercing the grape allowing infection or insect damage to follow.

The White-eyes were in the Timaliidae (Babblers) Family but now are in the Zosteropidae (White-eyes) Family. (They are  constantly shuffling the families around and it is hard to maintain the web pages.) At the present time the Yuhinas and Babblers are not in with them. One thing that has kept this busy is that the White-eyes have been diversifying with rapid speciation.

“…the scientists suggest, white-eyes form new species rapidly because of their sociability, ability to survive in a variety of habitats, and a short time between generations relative to other birds. Some white-eye species may also have minimized further dispersal and gene flow by becoming sedentary over the course of evolution, similar to historically dispersive human populations that ‘settled down,’ the researchers said. “Our results indicate that high rates of diversification may have as much to do with a species’ ‘personality’ as they have to do with more classical geographic or geological drivers of ‘speciation,’ Filardi said.” (From National Geographic)

According to National Geographic’s Complete Birds of the World, the Silver-eye has migrated across 1,250 miles of open sea from between southeast Australia to Tasmania, New Zealand. That is quite a feat for birds that are only 3-6 inches long. Again, God has created much ability in these little birds.

Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear Him, On those who hope in His mercy, (Psalms 33:18 NKJV)

Below is a video by Keith Blomerley of a Cape White-eye.

Birds of the World – Zosteropidae Family