Zosterops senegalensis (African yellow white-eye) 

Geelglasogie [Afrikaans]; umBicini, uMehlwane [Zulu]; Kahwarameso [Shona]; Manqiti (generic term for white-eye) [Tsonga]; Afrikaanse brilvogel [Dutch]; Zostérops jaune [French]; Senegalbrillenvogel [German]; Olho-branco-amarelo [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora >Aves (birds) > Order: Passeriformes > Family: Zosteropidae

Zosterops senegalensis (African yellow white-eye)  

African Yellow white-eye, Botswana. [photo Mike Grimes ©]


Distribution and habitat

Occurs across much of sub-Saharan Africa, absent only from the Congo basin and very arid areas. In southern Africa its distribution is centered in Zimbabwe, extending west to northern Botswana and Namibia and east to Mozambique. It generally prefers well-wooded habitats, especially miombo (Brachystegia), Zambezi teak (Baikiaea plurijuga) and mohobohobo (Uapaca) woodland, also occupying swamps with interspersed trees, thorny scrub, Eucalyptus plantations, suburban parks and gardens.

Distribution of African yellow white-eye in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  

Brood parasites

It has been recorded as host of the Green-backed honeybird.


It mainly eats insects, doing most of its foraging in the tree canopy, gleaning prey from leaves and branches. It regularly joins mixed-species foraging flocks,. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:


  • The nest is a small cup built of dried grass and small twigs, secured with spider web. It is typically placed in the foliage of a sapling, often about 3-5 metres above ground in the shade.
  • Egg-laying season is from August-January, peaking from September-October.
  • It lays 2-4 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for about 11-12 days.
  • The chicks are cared for by both parents, leaving the nest after about 13-14 days. If the nest is disturbed the chicks will often jump out in a panic.


Not threatened.


  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town. 




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