Family White-eyes and Yuhinas (Zosteropidae)

Least Concern

Orange River White-eye (Zosterops pallidus)


French: Zostérops de Swainson German: Oranjebrillenvogel Spanish: Anteojitos del Orange

Zosterops pallida


, 1838,

east of Prieska, Northern Cape, South Africa


In HBW considered conspecific with Z. virens. Race sundevalli (C South Africa) now regarded as a synonym. Monotypic.


N, WC & S Namibia and South Africa (R Orange and R Vaal Basins in Northern Cape, North West Province, Free State and N Eastern Cape).

Descriptive notes

10–13 cm; 8–20 g. Nomi­nate race has yellow supraloral stripe extending over base of upper mandible (narrow yellow forehead band), narrow (1 mm) white eyering... read more


Daytime song composed of short subdued twittering followed by louder subsong, including mimicry,... read more


Wide variety of habitats in open hilly and coastal country with scattered stands of trees, acacia... read more

Food and feeding

Nectar, fruits and other plant parts; arthropods (mainly insects). Nectar taken from aloes (Aloe), Reyena, Scutia... read more


Season generally Aug–Apr in SW of range, gradually shifting to Jun–Feb in NE. Often sings from same place throughout breeding... read more


Usually sedentary. There may be some movement into arid interiors of Karoo and Namaqualand (W South... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally very common to scarce. Locally common in S Namibia, but scarce and irregular in much of N part of range. Very common in much of South Africa... read more

Recommended citation

van Balen, B. & Bonan, A. (2019). Orange River White-eye (Zosterops pallidus). 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).