Cape white-eye
Zosterops virens

The Cape white-eye (Zosterops virens ) is a small passerine bird in the white-eye family. It is native to southern Africa. It is commonly found in suburbia, parks and gardens, besides a variety of mesic to well-watered habitats.


This species is about 12 cm long with rounded wings, strong legs, and a conspicuous ring of white feathers round the eyes. The upperparts are green, and the throat and vent are bright yellow. The members of the Z. v. capensis has a grey breast and belly, whereas Z. v. virens has a greenish-yellow breast and belly.

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They are very vocal, and constantly keep in touch with soft trilled pee, pree or pirreee callnotes. The song consists of repeated long jerky phrases of sweet reedy notes, varying in pitch, volume and temp, usually starting off with teee teee or pirrup pirrup notes, then becoming a fast rambled jumble of notes, which may incorporate mimicked phrases of other birdcalls.

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Biogeographical realms

It is found in a wide range of densely to lightly wooded habitats in South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland and marginally in Mozambique. Most populations are resident, but some perform minor seasonal movements.

Habits and Lifestyle

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.

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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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Seasonal behavior
Bird's call

Diet and Nutrition



1. Cape white-eye Wikipedia article -
2. Cape white-eye on The IUCN Red List site -
3. Xeno-canto bird call -

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