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Golden White-eye - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Golden Honeyeater; Cleptornis

Photo by Devon Pike
Saipan, July 2012
Cleptornis marchei


14cm. An unmistakable bird.

  • Yellow to orange head with narrow pale eyering
  • Yellowish-green back
  • Fringed orange-yellow wing and tail feathers
  • Golden orange-yellow underparts washed cinnamon-red on flanks and undertail-coverts
  • Dark brown eyes
  • Orange bill and legs

Sexes similar but females shorter-winged and shorter-billed.
Juveniles are duller and have a paler plumage than adults with brownish-yellow areas on back side of head.


Only found on Saipan and Aguijan in southern Northern Mariana Islands, Pacific.

A restricted-range species. The introduced Brown Tree-snake is likely to lead to a massive decrease of this species. Listed as critically endangered.


This is a monotypic species.

It was initially placed in the genus Ptilotis and thought to be a Honeyeater but DNA analysis indicated the placement in the current family. Closely related to Long-billed White-eye.


Found in the under-storey of wooded and semi-open habitats including suburban areas and strand forests. More common in native limestone forest than in disturbed areas. Not present in Susupe marshes.


Usually seen in family groups of 3 to 4 birds, sometimes in larger, noisy groups of up to 12 birds. Often followed by Rufous Fantails when foraging.


Feeds on berries, fruits, nectar, flowers, invertebrates and flying insects.


A territorial species. Breeds in all months except November. The nest is cup-shaped and made of casuarina needles, grasses, vine tendrils and coarse hairs. It's placed 1.5 to 6.5m above the ground in a tree. Lays 2 eggs.

Movements not known.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2013. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.8., with updates to August 2013. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2008. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 13: Penduline-tits to Shrikes. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553453

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