Dato Dr Amar Singh’s post on 5 April 2022 about the identification of White-eye https://besgroup.org/2022/04/05/white-eye-for-id-swinhoes-white-eye/ drew a response from Ng Di Lin. She also shares her photos of the birds she captured on her camera.
“I have recently the pleasure of observing (and taking a few passable pictures) of a small flock of white-eyes, at northern Klang Valley town of Gamuda Gardens, Rawang, Selangor. The ones which I observed have the yellow frontal band and yellow above-lores, and also a clear ventral yellow stripe which does not quite reach the yellow of the throat.
Unfortunately I cannot decipher a lot of the technical information in Bryan et al (2019), and Wells (2017a, 2017b), so efforts at identification are limited using information from bird blogs. Apparently the Swinhoe’s (Z. simplex) have a more prominent eye-ring (half the diameter of the eye) compared to the Hume’s (Z. auriventer), which eye-ring is one-third the diameter of the eye (BirdTour Asia Facebook page, 2020). Also, apparently, there is a subspecies of Z. simplex that does not have the median stripe, which supposedly is the northern, migratory population) (BirdTour Asia Facebook page, 2020). What is more perplexing is that in Bryan et al (2019), auriventer is not one of the five proposed species (the five being palpebrosus, simplex, melanurus, citrinella and japonicus).
Therefore, I suspect that my observed white-eyes are probably Z. simplex due to the very prominent eye-ring, frontal yellow lores, and the ventral stripe (which marks it as a local population). Of course, comments/suggestions are greatly welcomed.
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Dear Ng Di Lin
The White-eye group is not the easiest to differentiate, especially with a recent change in taxonomy.
Swinhoe’s White-eye (Zosterops simplex) tends to be lowlands and costal, Hume’s White-eye (Zosterops auriventer) tend to widespread and found in the highlands. But their territories overlap.
Your description, especially of a distinctly yellow forehead, is a good marker for Swinhoe’s White-eye.