Japanese White-eye

Zosterops japonicus




White-eyes (Zosteropidae)

Code 4


Code 6



Egg Color:


Number of Eggs:

3 - 4

Incubation Days:


Egg Incubator:

Both sexes

Nest Location:

In a wide variety of trees and shrubs.

Nest Material:

Fine grasses, spiderwebs, moss, and lichens.





Japanese White-eye: Small songbird with olive-green upperparts and a prominent white eye ring with a black dot in front of the eye; black loral line continuing under eye ring. Chin, throat and undertail coverts light yellow, belly off-white with dusky wash on sides and flanks. Gray wings and tail are outlined in green. Iris is brown or yellow-brown; dark gray bill and legs. Sexes are similar, juveniles' eye ring is slightly more gray, but indistinguishable from adults 30 days after hatching.

Range and Habitat

Japanese White-eye: Native to Japan. Found all over Japan, including Okinawa. Introduced to O'ahu in 1929 for pest control. Most abundant bird in Hawaii and is found on all islands. Habitats include trees and shrubs in towns, parks, forests, and rainforests from sea level to tree line, and even in mangroves in the south.

Breeding and Nesting

Japanese White Eye: These birds have a long breeding season from February to December, peaking in July and August. Three to four white eggs are laid in a cup-shaped nest of fibers and grasses. Both parents incubate the eggs for an 11 day period and tend to the nest. Fledging occurs in nine to ten days. These birds will raise up to three clutches per season.

Foraging and Feeding

Japanese White-eye: Their diet includes nectar, fruits and a variety of insects. Since these birds eat a large variety of exotic fruit, they widely disperse the seeds of invasive plants such as raspberries and blackberries in native forests. They forage throughout vegetation at all heights and vegetation density. They drink nectar via a bifid, slightly folded, fimbriated or brush-tipped tongue.


Japanese White-eye: Song is a warbling twitter and call is a high "tseet", sometimes mimics the songs of other birds.

Similar Species

Japanese White-eye: Hawaii Creeper and similar Hawaiian birds lack the white eye ring, buff flanks, and off-white belly.

Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
Back, rump, hindneck, wings, and crown.
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
The area of the face just below the bill.
Eye ringX
The circle around the eye formed of feathers that are a different color from the rest of the face.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X