Orange River White-eye.. another visitor to my invention..

Orange River White-eye (Zosterops pallidus)

This species is about 12 cm long with rounded wings, strong legs, and a conspicuous ring of white feathers round the eyes. There are a few sub-specie to the White-eye and how you tell them apart is not easy.. the colour of the body or chest is usually the give away sign…

They are very vocal, and constantly keep in touch with soft trilled pee, pree or pirreee.

This is a sociable species forming large flocks outside the breeding season. It builds a cup nest in a tree and lays 2-3 unspotted pale blue eggs. The eggs hatch in 11–12 days, and fledging occurs in another 12–13 days. The peak breeding season is September to December.

The Orange River White-eye feeds mainly on insects, but also soft fleshy flowers, nectar, fruit and small grains.

It apparently readily comes to bird feeders….

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Just realised it is almost the same size as a small orange…

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Whooowa what was that that flew by…???

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Cape White-eye or Orange River White-eye..

Cape White-eye, Zosterops pallidus or Orange River White-eye (Z. pallidus)

Now this little bird is one of the reasons I struggle and sometimes avoid, trying to identify the smaller bird species. I placed a picture on FB to ask for help and one expert tells me the Photos are of the Orange River sub specie.. but believe it or not there are two other sub specie, the SW and the E green.

They all interbreed as well I’m told, so how does one ID these little birds other than to call them LBJ (Little Brown Jobs)? I don’t know, I sometimes avoid posting some captures as I might just name it incorrectly, and someone will be on my back..

These little birds when not breeding congregate in big flocks and flit around together.. they nest in little cup like structures, laying two to three pale blue eggs that only take 11 to 12 days to hatch and then within the next 13 to 14 days they fly away. Now that is some growing speed.

White-eyes feeds mainly on insects, but also soft fleshy flowers, nectar, fruit and small grains, and it readily comes to bird feeders. Here’s a few photos..

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African Stonechat.

The African Stonechat (Saxicola torquatus) is a species of the Old World flycatcher family (Muscicapidae).

The males have a black head, a white half-collar, a black back, a white rump, and a black tail; the wings are black with a large white patch on the top side of the inner wing. The upper breast is usually dark orange-red, with a sharp or gradual transition to white or pale orange on the lower breast and belly depending on subspecies.

Females have brown rather than black above and on the head with an indistinct paler eyebrow line, chestnut-buff rather than orange below, and less white on the wings. Both sexes’ plumage is somewhat duller and streakier outside the breeding season. 

These, both male and female have been photographed in the Rietvlei Dam reserve and where captured during their most colourful stage of the year… Here’s some photos….

                            HIM…..                                                                                  HER…….

Rietvlei 25-5-2012 094

Rietvlei 25-5-2012 121

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rietvlei 25-5-2012 104

Rietvlei 25-5-2012 108

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tania rietvlei 01-08-12 071

Tania rietvlei 01-08-12 072

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rietvlei 25-5-2012 111

Rietvlei 25-5-2012 109