Family White-eyes and Yuhinas (Zosteropidae)

Least Concern

Sri Lanka White-eye (Zosterops ceylonensis)


French: Zostérops de Ceylan German: Sri-Lanka-Brillenvogel Spanish: Anteojitos cingalés

Zosterops ceylonensis


, 1872,

Nuwara Eliya and on the upper hills, Sri Lanka


Closest to Z. palpebrosus, and may have originated from ancestors of latter following their double colonization of Sri Lanka. Morphologically (long tail and bill, large wing, greener upperparts) and ecologically (restricted to hills) apparently closest to race nilgiriensis of Z. palpebrosus. Monotypic.


Hills and mountains of Sri Lanka.

Descriptive notes

c. 11 cm; one female 12·6g. Male has top of head and upperparts between olive-green and dark citrine; lores and streak under eye dusky grey, some grey also on ear-... read more


Jingling song, heard before sunrise, reminiscent of sound made by shaking bunch of keys, repeated 8... read more


Forest, forest edge, low isolated bushes, tea plantations, patna jungle, and gardens;... read more

Food and feeding

Nectar, berries, and insects; insects include tiny moths and small caterpillars (Lepidoptera), in particular those of the tea tortrix (... read more


Feb–Jul, with peak in Apr, and renewed activity in Aug–Sept, occasionally in other months. Nest built by both sexes, a small... read more


Not known.  

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restrictedrange species: present in Sri Lanka EBA. The most common bird species in higher parts of Sri Lanka.  

Recommended citation

van Balen, B. (2019). Sri Lanka White-eye (Zosterops ceylonensis). 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).