Today's post is about those little acrobats that zip around the garden. The Japanese White-eye, Zosterops japonicus, is easy to identify, if they stay long enough for you to observe them. They are small, energetic birds with olive green bodies, a yellow throat, and of course, a white ring around their eyes. Very social, white-eyes tend to visit in small groups, flitting around the bushes and rarely seen on the ground. They are present on all Hawaiian islands from the coast to urban settings to old-growth forests. In fact, the mejiro have become the most abundant and widespread bird in the southeastern Hawaiian islands, yet they were only introduced in the late 1920's. Why so successful? Well, they're a generalist species: they do well in a wide range of habitats, and they have a varied diet of insects, fruit and nectar. Specialist species have a specific habitat or diet. I was surprised to discover that this little cutey out-competes several native birds, and is considered an invasive species. The akepa and the amakihi are two such birds that researchers fear are negatively impacted by the presence of the white-eye.
welcomes you to visit with the all the wonderful flora and fauna that we share this lovely aina with.