The silvereye, also known as wax-eye, or white-eye, has a conspicuous white ring around the eye, thus giving the bird it’s name. The head and upperparts are olive green with a grey band across the back which extends around the chest. The under parts are a peachy brown with white under the tail. They are quite attractive and colorful bird when seen through the lens.
Silvereyes feed on a variety of foods, invertebrates, fruit, and nectar and will feed in flocks over winter in gardens and parks from bird tables, eating fats, cooked meats, and bread and sugar water. They have a specially adapted tongue, with bristles, which allows them to lap up nectar. They prefer the fruit of native trees but do feed on other fruiting species.
Silvereyes stay in pairs all year but in the winter they form big flocks, often flying at night in search of food. As the breeding season approaches the pairs break away to form individual territories and the first year birds pair up. Prolific breeders, they raise 2-3 broods per season, with between 2-5 eggs per brood. Both adults incubate for about 11 days and the chicks fledge at about 10 days. The young are independent at 3 weeks and will breed at about 9 months old. They have recorded that these little birds can live up to 12 years.
The Silvereye is found throughout New Zealand as well as Australia, and some of the southwest Pacific Islands including Fiji. The scientific name is Zosterops lateralis and it also called Wax-eye or White-eye. Its Maori name is Tauhou, which means “little stranger”. The Silvereye was first recorded in New Zealand in 1832, however, arrived in greater numbers in 1856.
I have been honored to have these little bundles of fluff in my garden for most of winter, they have wonderful antics and each one of them seems to have a different personality. I feel privileged that they trust me enough to feed of my lap first thing in the morning, mind you I have to sit very still. I feel so overwhelmed at times when I am able to observe them very closely. They are tiny little birds, very delicate.
My photo of “Little Boy lost” came up as one of the most viewed photos in 30 days. Thanks for all the comments and favorites.
I am delighted to be able to share these little birds with people all over the world. I have created a website and dedicated it to the wax eyes of New Zealand, you can view more photos at
I am also in the process of creating a book with photographs of the wax eyes and once finished and published I will offer the book to organisations like “Bird rescue trust NZ” and like places over the world. All proceeds of the sales will go to help the birds and wildlife on our planet. If anyone has suggestions on wildlife trusts and organisations that operate to save our wild heritage I would love to hear from you.
Thank you for taking the time to read this journal, and a big thank you to all the “bubblers” that have posted comments and compliments on my profile.
<img alt=“Greeting Card: Little boy lost! – Silvereye – Wax Eye – New Zealand” class=“greeting-card”