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Green-backed White-eye - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Chlidonias
Les Bois du Sud, New Caledonia, 9 August 2010
Zosterops xanthochroa


Photo © by Joseph Morlan
Ile de Pins, New Caledonia, 23 September 2019

11½–12½ cm (4½-5 in)

  • Broad white eye-ring, broken at front by loral line
  • Dull olive upperparts
  • Greenish-yellow throat
  • Pale grey flanks
  • Yellowish vent
  • Short dark bill and blue-grey legs.

Similar Species

Differs from Silvereye by greenish underparts, green mantle, paler greener lores and smaller size. From other small birds by broad white eye-ring.


Mountains of New Caledonia, Ile des Pins and Maré Island.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Photo © by albatross02
Ile de Pins, New Caledonia, December 2004

Primary forest. Less common in glades and native gardens.



Pairs and small flocks move rapidly through canopy.


Their diet consists mainly of insects, fruit and berries, especially those of introduced Lantana.


The nest is a beautiful structure of soft rootlets, hair, feathers, and cobwebs in the fork of a branch of a tree or shrub. Clutch is two to four turquoise eggs.


The song is a rapid jumbled warble of short whistles and warbles. The call a thin repeated see.




  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. van Balen, B. (2019). Green-backed White-eye (Zosterops xanthochroa). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/60212 on 7 December 2019).
  3. Dutson, G. (2011) Birds of Melanesia, Christopher Helm, London.

Recommended Citation

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