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Time to go

April 29, 2016

silvereye DSCN9592-002At the moment there are large flocks of Silvereyes in the garden. That can only mean one thing. It’s time to quit this town. The Silvereye is a small olive-winged bird with a very obvious white ring around its eye. They are found in Australia and the South Pacific and are distributed in Australia along the entire east and south coasts.

The scientific name, Zosterops lateralis, is derived from the Greek words zoster meaning girdle and ops meaning eye, referring to the light eye-ring. Lateralis is Latin for side. Silvereyes have a number of sub-species or races which are distinguished by the colour of their flanks. My guess based on the colouring of the birds in the garden and the distribution map of the races is that the birds at our place are of the race westernensis.

silvereye DSCN9580In late Autumn/early winter the birds gather to migrate north to warmer climes. The Tasmanian races migrate to Victoria, the Victorian races to NSW and so on.

I guess what you consider warmer depends on where you start.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Lesley Dalziel permalink
    April 29, 2016 7:48 am

    Ron, I have what I thought were the Tasmanian race of Silvereye here also. And yesterday I had a Spiny Cheeked Honeyeater.I got pretty excited about that. What a name for such a beautiful bird. I thought it had migrated South from the arid zone perhaps in response to the generally hotter drier climate we’re having. But looking up my old tattered version of Pizzey, I see he lists Tallarook as a place where they were recorded. I have never seen one here before though, in 40 years.

  2. Nette Jordan permalink
    April 29, 2016 1:38 pm

    I love these dear little birds. One flew into my back window the other day and it was a race to get to the poor, unconscious little thing before my dogs – two golden retriever crosses!
    I did get there first and gathered it up into my cupped hands, sitting with it while it recovered. It took a little while. As it came back to consciousness it began to flutter, so I opened my hands it flew onto my shoulder, where it sat quietly for a couple of minutes. My guess is that it was reorienting itself and getting its bearings, but it was so lovely to have this beautiful, tiny bird nestled on my shoulder. When it was feeling better it flew into my big gumtree and rested for a while longer, before flying off to meet up with its buddies. I am very grateful for the experience. 🙂

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