Family White-eyes and Yuhinas (Zosteropidae)


Saipan White-eye (Zosterops saypani)


French: Zostérops de Saipan German: Saipanbrillenvogel Spanish: Anteojitos de Saipán

Zosterops saypani

A. J. C. Dubois

, 1902,

Saipan, Northern Marianas


Usually considered conspecific with †Z. conspicillatus, but differs in its narrower white loral line but slightly more prominent black line below it from bill-base to eye (1); green vs greyish ear-coverts (1); pale buffish-yellow vs citron-yellow underparts (1); darker bill (ns[1]); smaller size (effect size for male bill –2.57, score 2); and more extensive vocabulary (ns[2]), including several high-pitched call notes unrecorded in conspicillatus (2) and lacking latter’s distinctly buzzy notes (2)#R. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

N Northern Mariana Is (Saipan, Tinian and Aguijan).

Descriptive notes

9·5–10 cm; average 7·9 g (Saipan). Adult has lower forehead and narrow supraloral line pale yellowish white, upper forehead and crown to hindneck and and upperparts greenish... read more


Various chirps, often rapidly uttered and organized into loose song, the notes clearly higher-... read more


Occurs in variety of habitats, ranging from native limestone forest to scrubby secondary growth of... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, seeds, flowers and fruits of numerous vine, tree and herb species; also nectar, small snails. Recorded as taking fruits of the... read more


Mostly Jan–Oct, with peak on Saipan in Feb–Mar. Not territorial except near nest, but birds remain in home range. Nest a rather deep cup... read more


Sedentary. Many ringed individuals known to stay for up to 14·5 months in study area (radius 300 m).

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species: present in Mariana Islands EBA. Although currently considered to be abundant, this species is confined to three very small islands and... read more

Recommended citation

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