Family White-eyes and Yuhinas (Zosteropidae)

Least Concern

Black-capped White-eye (Zosterops atricapilla)


French: Zostérops à calotte noire German: Schwarzstirn-Brillenvogel Spanish: Anteojitos capirotado

Zosterops atricapilla


, 1879,

Mount Singgalang, central-west Sumatra


An old species that must formerly have been more widespread in Borneo, as latter population not even racially distinct from that in S Sumatra; reasons for limited and patchy distribution unknown. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • Z. a. viridicatus Chasen, 1941 – N Sumatra (Leuser Mts, in Aceh; region of Berastagi, in Sumatera Utara).
  • Z. a. atricapilla Salvadori, 1879 – C & S Sumatra; N, NE & SE Borneo (Mt Kinabalu, Mt Mulu, Batu Patap, Ulu Sabai, Tutoh; upper Kayan region; Meratus Mts).
  • Descriptive notes

    9·5–10 cm; 8·5–11 g (viridicatus). Nominate race has forecrown, forehead, area around eyering, and submous­tachial region black, white... read more


    Loud twinkling series of calls (race viridicatus); nominate race has trembling call note,... read more


    Upper hill forest and lower montane forest, ascending into upper montane bush and alpine ericaceous... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly insects, grubs, fruits, nectar. Fruits taken include those of mistletoes (Loranthaceae), wild raspberry (Rubus), small... read more


    Birds in breeding condition recorded in Apr, adult carrying nesting material in May and fledgling in Jun in Sumatra; nest with young in... read more


    Not known.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Restricted range species: present in Bornean Mountains EBA and in Sumatra and Peninsular Malaysia EBA. Locally very common on high mountain tops in... read more

    Recommended citation

    van Balen, B. (2019). Black-capped White-eye (Zosterops atricapilla). 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).