Family White-eyes and Yuhinas (Zosteropidae)

Least Concern

Black-capped Speirops (Zosterops lugubris)


French: Zostérops de Sao Tomé German: Trauerbrillenvogel Spanish: Anteojitos lúgubre

Zosterops lugubris


, 1848,

São Tomé


Formerly placed in Speirops (see Zosterops). Previously considered conspecific with Z. melanocephalus, but morphologically and ecologically different, and more closely related to Z. leucophaeus#R. Monotypic.


Mountains of São Tomé I, in Gulf of Guinea.

Descriptive notes

13·5–15 cm. Has forehead, crown and nape matt black, thin buffy line between nostril and lores; white lores and broad white eyering; upperparts dark greyish-... read more


Musical, whistled song, loud and powerful for so small a bird; mimics various other bird species.... read more


Shady understorey of tall humid primary forest and secondary forest, patches of dry forest in... read more

Food and feeding

Small berries, e.g. Cestrum levigatum, pieces of avocado (Persea), probably nectar; also insects, including caterpillars... read more


Nest-building Dec to mid-Jan and eggs in Apr–Jun. Nest a delicate but quite thick-walled deep open cup, made from fine fibres, placed... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in São Tomé EBA. Common to abundant throughout, especially at higher altitudes and perhaps in S of... read more

Recommended citation

van Balen, B. (2019). Black-capped Speirops (Zosterops lugubris). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 20 August 2019).