Bird Families

Mascarene white-eyed


White eyes

White-eyed - a family of birds of the order of passerines. It includes about 12 genera and 85 species of very similar birds, and only narrow specialists can distinguish many of them. In Russia, in the Far East, there are two species: brown-eyed and Japanese white-eyed.

White-eyed are small birds (from 10 to 15 cm). They are characterized by white plumage around the eyes, which is reflected in their name. White-eyed moths have rounded wings, short legs and a short sharp beak. The tail is straight or slightly notched. Most species have olive or gray-brown plumage on the upper side. On the underside, they are yellow, white or gray. Some species are smaller and larger. Males and females practically do not differ in appearance from each other.

Representatives of this family are common in Indonesia, New Zealand, Japan, Africa and some islands in the Pacific Ocean. Their biosphere is primarily forest areas and gardens. In tropical forests, white-eyed beetles occupy the same ecological niche that in forests of temperate latitudes belongs to warblers. These are the most numerous small arboreal insectivorous birds of the Old World.Unlike warblers, which often nest on the ground, white-eyed moths have completely moved into tree crowns and build nests in the forks of branches. White-eyed animals feed on insects, nectar, berries and fruits. With their forked tongues, they suck the nectar from the flowers. At the same time, they stick their short beak deep into the flower or drill it from the side. In some countries, they are considered dangerous for the harvest of berries and fruits and are persecuted in every possible way. The Australian white-eye was especially unlucky - at the beginning of the 20th century, 20 thousand birds were exterminated only in the vicinity of the city of Perth. However, the overwhelming majority of species do not stray into large flocks, they prefer to stay alone or in pairs, and therefore birds cannot inflict serious damage to gardens.

Nests are built on forks of branches or in bushes, the tray is lined with fluff and animal hair. In clutch there are 2-4 pale blue or greenish eggs. Incubation lasts 11-12 days. Both the male and the female participate in the construction of the nest, incubation and feeding of chicks. Singing is very pronounced in males and it is easy to distinguish them from females during mating periods.

White-eyed song is melodic and pleasant. They easily take root in captivity, and often keep birds at home. Feeding is not difficult: white-eyed women gladly accept mealworms, grated carrots and fruits.


Mascarene white-eyed (lat. Zosterops borbonicus ) Is a songbird from the white-eyed family. Found on the Mascarene Islands.

1. Description

The nominal view from Reunion Island reaches a length of 10 cm.The upper side is brown. The front of the head and the back of the head are gray. Uppertail is off-white. The underside is dirty gray. Chin, middle of belly, rear, undertail and lower wings are whitish. The flanks are red-brown, the thighs are dark red-brown. The beak and legs are almost black. Subspecies Z. b. mauritianus reaches a length of 9 cm. The underside is painted in a dirtier gray-white color. The chin, throat and undertail are whiter than those of Z. b. borbonicus... The sides are vaguely brownish. Both subspecies have a prominent white ring around their chestnut colored iris.

2. Habitat and lifestyle

Of the native bird species on the Mascarene Islands, the Mascarene White-Eye has adapted best to human-induced changes in the landscape. It inhabits the forest plain, forests and gardens. Its food consists of insects, fruits and nectar. In Reunion, he pollinates orchid species such as Angraecum striatum, and in Mauritius, it is the main pollinator of flowers of the genus Trochetia... In search of food, it moves in small flocks of 6 to 20 individuals. Her voice is very loud. Breeding period in southern summer. Clutch consists of 2-4 blue eggs. The cup-shaped nest is laid out with plant material.

3. Subspecies

Initially, the subspecies from the Reunion and Mauritius Islands were described as separate species. Today Zosterops borbonicus borbonicus (from Reunion) is regarded as the nominal form, and Zosterops borbonicus mauritianus (from Mauritius) as a subspecies.

Notes (edit)

  1. Boehme R.L., Flint V.E. A five-language dictionary of animal names. Birds. Latin, Russian, English, German, French. / under the general editorship of Acad. V. E.Sokolov. - M .: Rus. lang., "RUSSO", 1994. - P. 381. - 2030 copies. - ISBN 5-200-00643-0


  • France Staub: Birds of the Mascarenes and Saint Brandon... LABAMA HOUSE, Port Louis, Mauritius, 1976
  • France Staub: Fauna of Mauritius and associated flora... Précigraph Limited, Port Louis, Mauritius, 1993
  • Otto Finsch: Zosteropidae (Volume 15), 1901
This abstract is based on an article from the Russian Wikipedia. Synchronization completed 7/20/11 5:29:06 PM
Similar abstracts: Mascarene coot, Mascarene paradise flycatcher, White-eye, Eastern white-eye, Norfolk white-eye.