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Cape White-eye | Zosterops virens

The Cape White-eye is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Zosteropidae bird family group which includes birds such as White-eyes.

The description for the Cape White-eye (Latin name Zosterops virens) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Zosterops virens can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 796 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 822. You will find a picture of the Cape White-eye on page 977.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. The Latin name for this bird is Zosterops pallidus in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The Cape White-eye is known in Afrikaans as Kaapse Glasogie.

The Cape White-eye is Endemic to the Southern African Region which means that this bird is only found in this region and nowhere else in the world.

The Cape White-eye has a height of 13 cms and weighs around 13 gms. The head is coloured yellow while the bill is coloured black. The Zosterops virens has a brown coloured throat, black legs and a brown, black coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is yellow

Eyes are brown

Bill is black

Legs are black

Throat is brown

Back is brown, black

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

The Cape White-eye is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

The bird also drinks nectar from flowers high up in the tree canopy.

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Cape White-eye is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 4 eggs and they are coloured blue.

The nest is built high up in the tree canopy and is protected from predators by branches and the dense green foligae.

The Cape White-eye is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is found in the African bushveld

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams

The bird is an urban dweller as well, being at home in parks, gardens and in old vacated buildings

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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