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Kikuyu White-eye - BirdForum Opus

Subspecies kikuyuensis
Photo © by Steve G
Mount Kenya, 6 July 2010
Zosterops kikuyuensis


11·5–12 cm (4½-4¾ in)

  • Green crown and upperparts
  • Broad eyering
  • Golden-yellow forehead band (to above lores and eyes)
  • Blackish-brown flight-feathers and primary-coverts, with green to yellowish green edges -Dark brown tail with narrow green outer edges
  • Yellow centre of breast to undertai
  • Dark green breast-sides and flanks
  • Pale yellow axillaries
  • White underwing-coverts with yellow tinge
  • Brown iris
  • Black bill
  • Pale grey legs

Sexes similar. Immature resembles adult.


Mount Kenya and other mountains in central Kenya


This is a monotypic species[1]. This species was previously included in the Broad-ringed White-eye complex.


Highland forests, forest edges, bamboo stands and wooded gardens, Eucalyptus and conifer woods. Generally between 1500–3400 m.



Their diet consists mostly of small berries, figs, papaw pulp, with the addition of invertebrates, particularly aphids and some nectar.


Monogamous. Both adults construct the nest, which is a small cup, using lichen, moss, fine fibres and spiders web. Sometimes covered on the outside with green moss. It is placed in the arms of a fork or slung between two stems about 1-7 m av=bove the ground.

The clutch contains 2-3 blue or white eggs, which are incubated by both the parents for 11-12 days. Fledging occurs after 15 days.

Nests may be parasitised by Green-backed Honeybird and young and eggs predated by shrikes.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. del Hoyo, J., N. Collar, and G. M. Kirwan (2020). Kikuyu White-eye (Zosterops kikuyuensis), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.brrwhe3.01

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