Species Zosterops lateralis
Ancient Greek zoster ‘girdle’
Ancient Greek opia ‘eye’
Latin lateralis ‘lateral’
Common Name Silvereye
Menkhorst, P., Rogers, D., Clarke, R., Davies, J., Marsack, P. & Franklin, K., 2017, The Australian Bird Guide, CSIRO Publishing, Australia
Puckey, Helen L. et al., Fruit color choices of captive silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis), The Condor 98 (1996): 780-790.
Abdul Moeed, 1979, Foods of the silvereye (Zosterops lateralis; Aves) near Nelson, New Zealand, New Zealand Journal of Zoology, 6:3, 475-477, doi: 10.1080/03014223.1979.10428389
Waite, E., Closs, G. P., van Heezik, Y., & Dickinson, K. J. M. (2013). Resource availability and foraging of Silvereyes (Zosterops lateralis) in urban trees. Emu – Austral Ornithology, 113(1), 26–32. doi:10.1071/mu11093
Identification Tips (SA Only):
- Distinct white-silver eye ring
- Bright olive head and nape, with grey mantle
- Tiny Bird with undulating flight pattern
- Occurs in small groups moving from shrub to shrub
Similar Species (SA Only):
- Ptilotula penicillata (White-plumed Honeyeater)
- Indistinct yellow eye-ring
- Bright white neck plume
- Several other Ptilotula species across SA with various neck plumes
- Insects (protein) from:
- Collected from leaves and branches of trees and shrubs
- Preference for foraging in trees (native or exotic) with high arthropod abundance
- Hemiptera, Diptera, Coleoptera, & Lepidoptera (Larva to 15mm long)
- Fruit (carbohydrate) from:
- Native fleshy fruits
- Commercial orchards
- Preference for red fruits (hue rather than brightness)
- Breeding mostly during September through January, multiple broods possible
- Tiny cup-shaped nest of woven grass, moss, hair, spiderweb & thistledown
- Located in outer reaches of shrubs or small trees, in branch fork
The following resources occur naturally or have been made available on the property to support this species:
- Rhagodia candolleana (Sea-berry Saltbush) – Large established shrub, heavily flowering but very few fruits. Typically a coastal Plant, but the property is 4km from the coast. Perhaps self-pollination is limited. A second instance has been Planted. Waiting for it to flower.
- Enchylaena tomentosa (Barrier Saltbush)
- Atriplex semibaccata (Creeping Saltbush) – May be of use with its red berries, but Silvereyes may be reluctant to feed on the ground.
- A Nectarine tree on a neighboring property is frequently visited during fruiting.
- Nesting Materials
- Although not directly observed, these appear to nest in two 5 meter tall Syzygium australe (Lilly Pilly) cultivars.
- Spider Web
- Themeda triandra (Cultivated)
- Microlaena stipoides var. stipoides (Cultivated)
- Poa labillardieri (Cultivated)
- Gahnia filum (Cultivated)
- Numerous species of Eucalyptus, Acacia, Grevillea, Banksia, Hakea, Callistemon & Eremophila have been planted. Silvereyes have been observed on various flowers, but it is difficult to discern if they are seeking Insects on the flowers or the nectar.