Silvereye/Waxeye

The silvereye or waxeye (Zosterops lateralis) has a distinctive white ring around its eye. Its Māori name, tauhou, means stranger – it is a recent arrival, first noted in 1832 and established from 1856. It is now abundant all over New Zealand in a wide range of habitats – native forest, scrub, plantations, rural and urban orchards and gardens.
The silvereye has green wings and a grey back, is 12 centimetres long and weighs 13 grams. The same subspecies also breeds in Tasmania, migrating to Queensland each winter. In New Zealand, the birds form flocks in winter and move about in search of seasonal foods – invertebrates, fruit and nectar. Their flocking call is a liquid ‘kee-kee-kee’.

Hear the Silvereye”s call