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Black-fronted White-eye - BirdForum Opus

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Photo by Mehd Halaouate
Taja, Papua, Indonesia, May 2004
Zosterops minor


Length 11 cm. Weight 10·3–11·6 g.
Orange yellow chin and throat with a sharp border, not extending to the chest.
Limited white Eye ring.
The forehead, crown and ear coverts to upperparts is yellowy green.
The uppertail coverts yellower
Underparts greyish white
The undertail coverts yellow
Eye chestnut to greyish brown
Beak blackish
Legs blue grey.
Sexes alike.

Similar Species

Black-crowned White-eye is duller with broader eye ring


South-east Asia and Australasia: found in Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.



There are 6 subspecies:[1]

  • Z. m. chrysolaemus: Duller than nominate with broad white eye ring, black lores, greener upperparts greenish edges to retrices
  • Mountains of north-western New Guinea (Arfak Mountains and Onin Peninsula)
  • Z. m. minor:
  • Mountains of northern New Guinea (Cyclops, Sepik and Snow Mountains); Yapen Island
  • Z. m. rothschildi:
  • Mountains of central New Guinea (Weyland Mountains) and
  • Z. m. gregarius: Yellower with duller back, broad white eye ring and more orange throat
  • Mountains of south-east New Guinea (Huon Peninsula)
  • Z. m. delicatulus: Forehead, loral line and under the eye black, very broad white eye ring, greener back than Z. m. chrysolaemus, throat is much less orange
  • South-eastern New Guinea (Herzog to Hydrographer mountains and south-eastern peninsula)
  • Z. m. pallidogularis:
  • D'Entrecasteaux Archipelago (Fergusson and Goodenough)


Lives in hill forest and forest edges including second growth forest. Found locally in gardens in Wau. Elevation; between 150 m and 1460 m, but usually found above 400 m. It is found mainly on the mountains in mainland New Guinea. On Yapen I, it is found in mid montane area. In Eastern New Guinea it shares elevtion with New Guinea White-eye



Insects, berries, arillate fruits and nectar. Flocks with own species and mixed with Sylviidae sometimes found with New Guinea White-eye. Forages in canopy. Feeds by gleaning.


Little information is known. Breeding indivuals have been seen in October and November with egg laying in late December and early January.


Song is diagnostic. Often heard, beautiful series of 7–12 fluid notes of 2·5–4 seconds duration quickly reaching highest note in seesaw like way and then dropping down. Sounds like a squeaky wheel. Pattern may vary regionally with differences in length and speed, but the overall pattern remains similar. “dyudyu dyodyo dee dyo dyu”.
Calls: Upslurred “tswee”, “sweei” or “zweeit”; and downslurred “tseew”, “chee” or “weedit” both are often repeated.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. BF Member observations
  4. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved July 2015)

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.