Saturday, 13 August 2016

Hume's White-eye (Zosterops auriventer)

2018 TAXONOMIC REVISION: This population was moved from Everett's White-eye to Hume's White-eye.

Latin Etymology: Zosterops ("girdle appearance") auriventer ("gold belly")
Seven adult Hume's White-eye (subspecies Z. a. tahanensis) in Genting Highlands - July 2016

Featured Subspecies: Zosterops auriventer tahanensis
Weight: 8.5-9.7g  /  Length: 11cm  /  Wingspan: ?
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

 My encounter with Hume's White-eye largely consisted of one single large flock of over 50 individuals at the top of a tree mixed in with a few birds of other species.  If I'm honest, I would say the white-eyes (at least those species I have encountered both in the wild and in captivity) are a family of fairly similar looking birds for the most part and in Malaysia where several species are present, the main differentiation points are fairly subtle.  In this case, the lack of yellow on the forehead and more extensive yellow on the underside differentiate it from the Swinhoe's White-eye.  If I'm honest though, in situations like these I tend to work on a slightly different system - come up with a hypothesis based on habitat (in this case that Hume's White-eye is a highland species to the Oriental White-eye's lowland) and look for those identifying features to confirm (or refute) it afterwards.

Related Species:
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Zosteropidae
Genus: Zosterops
Subspecies: Z. a. tahanensis, Z. a. wetmorei, Z. a. everetti, Z. a. basilanicus, Z. a. boholensis, Z. a. siquijorensis, Z. a mandibularis, Z. a. babelo

 - Sighting Locations -
MALAYSIA - Malay - Mata Putih Rimba ("Jungle White-eye")
A locally common resident.
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: A single individual and a large flock at Genting Highlands 

Further Notes: BirdForum Opus, IUCN Red ListRSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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