Swinhoe’s White-eye

Scientific Name: Zosterops simplex

Malay Name: Kelicap Kacamata Biasa

Chinese Name: 暗绿绣眼鸟

Range: Breeding Range: Eastern China, Taiwan and northern Vietnam to Thai-Malay Peninsula to Sumatra and Borneo

Taxonomy: Polytypic. Subspecies are: simplex, hainanus, erwini, williamsoni, salvadorii.

Local Subspecies: erwini (native), simplex (introduced)

Size: 10.5-11 cm

Identification: Olive-green upperparts with white eye-ring. Throat, upperbreast and forehead yellow. Lower breast and belly pale grey with yellow undertail coverts. Yellow ventral stripe that extend to the belly for native subspecies erwini that is lacking in introduced simplex.

Habitat: Occurs in secondary forests, forest edge, old plantation, scrub, mangroves, parks and gardens.

Behaviour/Ecology: Highly gregarious. Usually seen in small flocks gathered to feed at flowering trees.

Local Status: Very common introduced resident

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2019)

Location: Suitable habitat across Singapore.

Featured articles:


BirdLife International. (2019). Zosterops simplex. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2019. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2019-3.RLTS.T155158152A155179279.en. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Lim, B. T., Sadanandan, K. R., Dingle, C., Leung, Y. Y., Prawiradilaga, D. M., Irham, M., Ashari, H., Lee, J. G., & Rheindt, F. E. (2018). Molecular evidence suggests radical revision of species limits in the Great speciator white-eye genus zosterops. Journal of Ornithology, 160(1), 1–16. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10336-018-1583-7

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

Wells, D. R. (2007). The Birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsula (Vol. 2). Christopher Helm, London.

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