New Zealand Status: Native
Conservation Status: Not Threatened
Zosterops lateralis is a small songbird with a distinctive white eye-ring that colonised New Zealand from Australia in the 1850s and is now widespread.
Plumage is olive-green on the head, lower back and upper tail, mid-grey on the back and sides of the neck and upper back. Upper wings are mostly dark olive-green, with yellowish green lines. Underparts are whitish to pale grey, the flanks are pinkish-buff, and the thighs are white.
The iris is dark reddish-brown, and the legs and feet pale brown. The bill is dark brownish-black, short and sharply pointed. Both genders are alike and juveniles have colouring similar to adults but their eye-ring is less pronounced.
Zosterops lateralis occurrs in urban gardens, farmland, orchards, scrublands, edges of wetlands, and all indigenous and exotic forests from sea level up to about 1,200m altitude. It is omnivorous and eats a range of small insects, berries, fruits, and eagerly on the nectar of native and exotic plants.
© Geografpix Photography, Steve Reader