Common Birds of India

White Eye

 

 

 

 

White Eye. (Zesterops palpebrosa )

-RagooRao

 

 

 The White eye is the bird of the month.

 

 

A sparrow sized greenish yellow bird, hopping endlessly from branch to branch in garden trees, chirping occasionally a faint Ckik.....chik...with a conspicuous white ring around the eye is the White eye. It has a small curved bill which looks almost translucent when seen against the sun.

 

This bird is found practically all over the country. They sometimes gather in flocks of five to six birds flicking from branch to branch foraging. Their mainstay are insects, which they search sometimes hanging upside down from twigs, very much like the tailor birds and the tits.

 

There are slight variations in color and size depending on the geographical areas they live in. Five races have been categorized.

 

It is really amusing to see them feeding on berries in the season. They pick a berry which will be almost as large as their heads and swallow them laboriously. Flower nectar is also relished by them.

 

A little before their breeding season, which is mainly between April and July in Southern India, the male is heard a little more and he has a polyphonic sort of chirps. It stars feebly and grows louder and after the climax fades away feebly.

 

A very pleasant quiet bird, easily comes into gardens with medium sized flowering trees in search of nectar and insects. A tree which bears small cherries is sure to attract these birds into the gardens.

 

In the nesting season, both the parents build their nests not very high with dried grass fibres and cobwebs. They usally select the end of a slender branch and build the nests hammock fashioned- hanging and swaying in the wind. Probably they do this to keep the predators away.

 

2 to 3 pale blue eggs sometimes darker at the broader end are laid and both the parents share all domestic chores.

 

A beautiful quiet bird to have as a guest in your gardens.

 

 

( Photographs: Susan Sharma)

 


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