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Silvereye

A Silvereye (Zosterops lateralis) perched on a small branch
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Scientific Name: Zosterops lateralis

Size: 11 to 13 cm

What does it look like?

The Silvereye is one of several similar small birds that make up the group known as white-eyes, so-called due to the conspicuous ring of white feathers around their eyes.  The Silvereye shows a range of plumage variations in Australia and, to keep things interesting, birds in the east of the country have regular north-south migrations and may replace each other during different times of the year, and several subspecies overlap to varying degrees. Generally though, birds in the east of the country have a grey back and olive-green head and wings, while birds in the west are uniformly olive-green. During the breeding season, birds along the east coast have a yellow throat, white on the undertail and pale buff flanks, and Tasmanian birds have a grey throat and yellow on the undertail.

Where is it found?

The Silvereye is more common in the south-east of Australia, but its range extends throughout most of the country, including Tasmania. Birds move further south in late winter to breed and then return to the northern areas in autumn. During this migration they can form large flocks. The species was also self-introduced into New Zealand in the 1830s and 1850s. 

What are its habitats & habits?

This species occurs in a range of wooded habitat, including urban gardens and commercial orchards, where it feeds on insects, fruit and nectar. 

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Front cover of Australia's Birdwatching Megaspots book showing a picture of an Eastern Spinebill

This species features in my book Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots

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