Cape White-eye ( Zosterops virens, family: Zosteropidae)

cape white eye kruger national park birds The Cape White-eye (Latin name Zosterops virens) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 796 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 822 also a picture of the Cape White-eye on page 977. The Cape White-eye belongs to the family of birds classified as Zosteropidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Cape White-eye is also known by these other names: Pale White-eye, Green White-eye, Vaal River White-eye, Natal Zosterops.

The Robert's 7 Latin name for Cape White-eye has changed from Zosterops pallidus in Robert's 6 to Zosterops virens

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

Endemic species is one that is confined to a specific country or region. For example certain birds endemic to South Africa only exist in that country. One such example is the Cape White-eye and this species depends upon a particular habitat for survival. Destroy that habitat and the bird will possibly be lost forever.

In terms of distribution of the Cape White-eye in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Cape White-eye : see above distribution map.

Cape White Eye Kruger ParkIdentification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The Cape White-eye is a small bird about the size of a house sparrow. Do not take this relative indicator as anything other than a rough easy to remember indicator. It is not a accurate visualization. The height of the Cape White-eye is about 13 cms and its weight is about 13 gms

The male and female Cape White-eye have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is yellow.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is brown.
  • Back is brown, black.
  • Legs are black.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Cape White-eye feeds on the ground and in foliage mainly



Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Cape White-eye is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Zosterops virens will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Cape White-eye is to create the nest in branches of a tree or shrub. The bird lays eggs which are blue in colour and number between 2 to 4

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Cape White-eye are: woodlands and grasslands and riverine areas. The Cape White-eye is also at home in wetland and bushveld areas.

You will normally see the Cape White-eye in pairs or flocks and not as single birds.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Intukwane

Zulu ... umBicini/ uMehlwane

Afrikaans ...Kaapse Glasogie

German ... Oranjebrillenvogel

Portuguese ... Olho-branco do Cabo

French ... Zostrops du Cap

Dutch ... Kaapse Brilvogel

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 796

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,