Cape White-eye (Zosterops capensis)
Afrikaans: Kaapse Glasogie
French: Zostérops du Cap
Portuguese: Olho-branco do Cabo
Dutch: Kaapse brilvogel
A small very active yellowish bird with a white ring around the eye. Size 12cm - smaller than a sparrow. Afrikaans: Kaapse Glasogie
The bill of the White-eye is straight, short and slender. The bill is blackish with a blue-grey base to the lower mandible. The legs and feet are bluish-grey. The eye is brown and there is a solid, fairly prominent, white ring around the eye. The upperparts are greyish-green. The throat and undertail are yellow. The rest of the underparts vary in colour depending on region, from greenish yellow with green wash on the breast, to whitish with rufous-pink flanks.
A common and familiar bird which is present in a variety of habitats including gardens, parks, forest, woodland, riverine bush and exotic plantations.
It is usually seen in pairs or in small quick moving parties, which move through the foliage, calling all the time. They search trees and shrubs thoroughly, often from ground level to the canopy, searching for small insects.
The diet consists of small insects, spiders, nectar, fruit, and flower petals. They are quite regular visitors to bird tables, where they will take fruit, sugar or jam.
They are very vocal, and constantly keep in touch with soft trilled pee, pree or pirreee callnotes. The song consists of repeated long jerky prhases of sweet reedy notes, varying in pitch, volume and temp, usually starting off with teee teee or pirrup pirrup notes, then becoming a fast rambled jumble of notes, which may incorporate mimicked phrases of other birdcalls.
Cape White-eyes nest mainly from October to December. The nest is a small thin-walled cup of fine grass, stems, roots, hair and strands of lichen, bound together with spider webs and lined with plant down of feathers. It is suspended by rim from thin horizontal fork of shrub, bush or tree.