Everett’s White-eye: Identification and diet

posted in: Feeding-plants, Morphology-Develop. | 1

The Red Data Status of the Everett’s White-eye (Zosterops everetti tahanensis) is Locally Near Threatened Bordering on Vulnerable. Also, more information is needed on its diet. The image on the left shows it feeding on the fruits of the Blue Mahang (Macaranga heynei).

Observations by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS was made in April 2012 along a trail through the dense primary forest of the Kledang-Sayong Forest Reserve (500m ASL) in Perak, Malaysia. Amar’s report is given below:

“It is not easy to differentiate the Everett’s White-eye from the Oriental White-eye (Zosterops palpebrosus).

“Wells 2007 states that the Everett’s White-eye is ‘darker, less yellow green’, ‘mostly lacks yellow on forehead and above lores’, ‘the broad median yellow band running forward from the belly is pinched off by grey, never quite meeting the yellow of the upper breast.’

“Having reviewed all my images of both birds, I find that the limited yellow on the face and lores is a good feature. However the yellow on the belly is more prominent in the Everett’s than the Oriental White-eye.

“One good article on this is: Everett’s White-eye Zosterops everetti in KhaoYai, north-east Thailand by Andrew J. Pierce and Philip D. Round in Forktail 22 (2006) LINK.

“The authors state: ‘Although none of the standard field guides (e.g., King 1975, Lekagul and Round 1991, Robson 1999) mentions the extent and broadness of the yellow median stripe as a diagnostic feature, this feature was shown by all Everett’s White-eye specimens examined at the Natural History Museum, Tring, U.K. Specimens of Oriental White-eyes Z. palpebrosus (other than Z. p. melanurus and some Z. p. siamensis, both of which may be completely yellow below) showed, at most, a narrow broken yellow median stripe along the belly that extended to neither the yellow on the vent nor the throat. In many Oriental White-eye specimens there was barely any yellow on the mid-line, and in all specimens the upperparts were more yellowish-green, with extensive yellow on the forecrown.’

“Bearing in mind the difficulty of distinguishing the upperparts colour (colder green in ‘Everett’s, more yellow-green in Oriental White-eye) or the precise shade of greyish-white on the flanks, the extent of yellow on the belly is possibly the best field character for distinguishing these species.’

“The image above-left shows the limited yellow on the face of the Everett’s White-eye and that on the right, the larger median yellow belly stripe.

“I expect there is a lot of individual variation among birds.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
June 2012


One Response


    Hi Amar,

    Nice posting.
    Very informative and agree with your close observation pointers.
    My recent encounter with Everett’s Whiteeye in Sarawak got me a better understanding of their differences to the Oriental.
    Will do an article later to further substantiate your obs.

    Field guides unfortunately are only guides and as I have found too, need not be taken and agree with every word or images written or painted.

    If keen observers/citizen scientists do find the differences, lets contribute by posting them out and substantiating with photographs.




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