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Orange River White-eye - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Olli
Richtersveld, South Africa, September 2008
Zosterops pallidus


Length 12 cm, mass 8-15 g
Rounded wings, strong legs, marked eye-ring of white feathers. Upperparts olive-green; throat and vent are bright yellow.


Central and southern Namibia and South Africa.


A member of the Zosteropidae family (Swainson, 1838)


This is a monotypic species:1

  • Z. pallidus
  • Namibia and northern South Africa (Northern Cape, North West, and Free State)
  • Pale yellow central belly, with peach-coloured flanks

Formerly considered conspecific with Cape White-eye, but they are no longer considered each others closest relatives.


Forest, woodland, thickets plantations and gardens. Prefers drier, more open woodland than Cape White-eye.



Feeds mainly on insects, but also soft fleshy flowers, nectar, fruit and small grains. It will come to bird feeders.


Breeding season is September to December. Builds a cup nest in a tree, lays 2-3 pale blue eggs, which hatch in 11-12 days. Young fledge in 12-13 days.


The call is a sweet twee tuuu twee twee, higher pitched and more trilled in the Orange River White-eye. The territorial call is very loud.


  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. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2014. IOC World Bird Names (version 4.3). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  3. Birdforum thread discussing taxonomy of Southern African White-eyes

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