Profile: Zosterops lateralis

Kingdom Animalia

Phylum Chordata

Subphylum Vertebrata

Class Aves

Order Passeriformes

Family Zosteropidae

Genus Zosterops

Species Zosterops lateralis

Ancient Greek zoster ‘girdle’

Ancient Greek opia ‘eye’

Latin lateralis ‘lateral’

Common Name Silvereye

eBird: Zosterops lateralis

iNaturalist: Zosterops lateralis

Wikipedia: Zosterops lateralis

South Australian iNaturalist Research Grade Observations

My iNaturalist Research Grade Observations

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):

Requirements: Food

  • 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)
  • Nectar

Requirements: Nesting

  • 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

Biodiversity+ Accommodations

The following resources occur naturally or have been made available on the property to support this species:

  • Insects
    • Hemiptera (All Records, including those too large to eat)
    • Diptera (All Records, including those too large to eat)
    • Coleoptera (All Records, including those too large to eat)
    • Lepidoptera larvae (All Records, including those that grow too large to eat)
  • Fruits
  • Nesting Materials
    • Location
      • Although not directly observed, these appear to nest in two 5 meter tall Syzygium australe (Lilly Pilly) cultivars.
    • Spider Web
    • Grasses
      • Themeda triandra (Cultivated)
      • Microlaena stipoides var. stipoides (Cultivated)
      • Poa labillardieri (Cultivated)
      • Gahnia filum (Cultivated)
    • Nectar
      • 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.