Family White-eyes and Yuhinas (Zosteropidae)

Least Concern

Grey-throated White-eye (Zosterops rendovae)


French: Zostérops à gorge grise German: Graukehl-Brillenvogel Spanish: Anteojitos de San Cristóbal

Zosterops rendovæ


, 1882,

Rendova; error = San Cristobal, Solomon Islands


Affinities unclear; probably an old endemic species of Solomon Is. Hitherto treated as conspecific with Z. hamlini (which see). Sometimes listed as “Z. ugiensis”, as name rendovae has erroneously been applied to Rendova form of Z. kulambangrae, with much resultant confusion#R#R#R#R down to present. Species originally described by E. P. Ramsay in 1881 as Tephras olivaceus, from “Solomon Islands”; when transferred to present genus, name became preoccupied by Z. olivaceus of Reunion I (see that species). Consequently, it was explicitly given substitute name (rendovae) in 1882 by Tristram, who simultaneously adjoined a description of the Rendova form, thus effectively applying his name to two species at once; under ICZN Code (Article 72.7; see also 49), status as replacement name takes precedence, so olivaceus and rendovae are objective synonyms, with same type specimen (of San Cristobal form). Later in 1882, Ramsay himself renamed the species ugiensis, but name rendovae already had priority, thus ugiensis merely a third objective synonym. Emanating from ensuing confusion of names, forms and localities, ramsayi is fourth objective synonym and anyway preoccupied by a name currently included within synonymy of Z. lateralis vegetus (see Z. lateralis account); salomonensis is a fifth; alberti is a junior subjective synonym of rendovae. In past, name olivaceus also erroneously applied to birds of Rendova. Apparently on basis purely of name, form ugiensis [= rendovae] was wrongly claimed to occur on Ugi. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • Z. r. oblitus E. J. O. Hartert, 1929 – Guadalcanal, in EC Solomon Is.
  • Z. r. rendovae Tristram, 1882 – Makira (San Cristobal), in SE Solomon Is.
  • Descriptive notes

    12·5 cm; male 15 g and ­female 15·8 g (oblitus), unsexed 19·1 g (nominate). Nominate race is dark olive or brown­ish olive above, face and... read more


    Song (given at dawn) a loud rambling musical warble of mellow whistles (these almost run together... read more


    Forest, especially forest edge and secondary forest, but rarely in low bushes; in hills and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Soft seedy fruit, mostly small seeds, and probably occasionally insects. Reported as being fond of the seeds of kandaka trees. Usually in... read more


    Juvenile not long out of nest in Apr; birds with small to large gonads in Nov (nominate race), and all birds with enlarged gonads in Jul... read more


    Not known. Presumably resident, but presence in lowlands of both range islands apparently solely... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: present in Solomon Group EBA. Common to abundant, especially in mistforest. This species has a relatively... read more

    Recommended citation

    van Balen, B. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Grey-throated White-eye (Zosterops rendovae). 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 16 September 2019).