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Cape White-eye
(Zosterops capensis)

Cape White-eye

General description

Cape White-eyes have rounded wings, strong legs, and a conspicuous ring of white feathers round the eyes. The upperparts are green, and the throat and vent are bright yellow.

They are very vocal, and constantly keep in touch with soft trilled pee, pree or pirreee callnotes.

Name & classification

Scientific name:
Zosterops capensis

Common names:
Cape White-eye (English)
Kaapse Glasogie (Afrikaans)

Roberts VII english name:
Cape White-eye

Roberts VII scientific name:
Zosterops capensis

White-eyes (Zosteropidae)

Further information



The Cape White-eye feeds mainly on insects, but also soft fleshy flowers, nectar, fruit and small grains. It readily comes to bird feeders.

This is a sociable species forming large flocks outside the breeding season.

It builds a cup nest in a tree and lays 2-3 unspotted pale blue eggs. The eggs hatch in 11–12 days, and fledging occurs in another 12–13 days. The peak breeding season is September to December.

Natural distribution:
Cape White-eyes are found in South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho, Rwanda and Swaziland. Most populations are resident, but some perform minor seasonal movements.

Cape White-eyes are found in a wide range of densely to lightly wooded habitats.

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