Cape whiteeye

Zosterops pallidus

TAXONOMY

Zosterops pallidus Swainson, 1838, Rustenburg, Transvaal, South Africa. Seven subspecies.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: African pale white-eye, pale white-eye; French: Zostérops du Cap; German: Kapbrillenvogel; Spanish: Ojiblanco Pálido.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Length, 3.9-5.1 in (10-13 cm); weight, 0.28-0.53 oz (8-15 g); wing, 2.0-2.7 in (52-68 mm); tail, 1.6-2.2 in (40-56 mm); tarsus, 0.6-0.8 in (15-20 mm); culmen, 0.4-0.6 in (9-15 mm). Underparts gray, upperparts pale green.

DISTRIBUTION

Southern Africa to Ethiopia.

HABITAT

Forests, woodlands, savanna, exotic plantations, and suburban gardens.

BEHAVIOR

Some migrate while others remain sedentary. Readily come to bird feeders.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Feed on insects, spiders, soft fruit, berries, nectar.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Nests at the start and end of the monsoon season, with a peak between September and December. Two to three eggs per clutch, incubated for 11-12 days, and nestlings fed for 12-13 days.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened. Abundant in woods and suburban areas. SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

A popular species among the bird banders of southern Africa. Band recoveries have begun to demonstrate the complex nature of movements, molt patterns, and longevity. ♦

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