Family White-eyes and Yuhinas (Zosteropidae)

Least Concern

Pohnpei White-eye (Zosterops ponapensis)


French: Zostérops gris-brun German: Pohnpeibrillenvogel Spanish: Anteojitos de Ponapé

Zosterops ponapensis


, 1876,

Ponape, Seniavin group


Hitherto treated as conspecific with Z. cinereus (and hence previously often with Z. finschii), but differs in its much shorter bill (effect size for females –5.56, score 3); dull mid-brown vs mouse-grey upperparts (3); very slight reduction of buffy tinge to pale grey underparts (ns); higher-pitched somewhat hoarse/hissing call-notes vs rather loud sparrow-like chirps (4)#R. Song may also be different (unclear from available recordings whether song recorded or not). Monotypic.


Pohnpei, in EC Caroline Is.

Descriptive notes

10–11 cm; one male 11·2 g. Adult has forehead pale ash-grey, crown and upperparts dull medium brown (sepia colour); upperwings and tail darker brown, feathers with paler... read more


Song is a series of fairly melodious high-pitched whistles alternating with slurs and burry notes,... read more


Occurs in most vegetated habitats, including in and around native gardens, at low altitudes.

Food and feeding

Small, large-seeded berries, seeds, also insects. Takes food items from twigs and leaves in bushes and small trees. Moves about often in... read more


Eggs in Aug, fledgling just out of nest in Mar; birds (especially males) collected in Nov had enlarged gonads. Two nests found, had outer... read more


No information. Presumed sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: present in East Caroline Islands EBA. Common in all suitable habitats on its single island. May have... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Pohnpei White-eye (Zosterops ponapensis). 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).