Réunion Grey White-eye
13 35 065 Zosterops borbonicus borbonicus brown morph
Brown morph
Range Réunion
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Zosteropidae
Genus Zosterops
Species Zosterops borbonicus
Conservation Status
Least Concern

The Réunion grey white-eye (Zosterops borbonicus), is a species of white-eye in the Zosteropidae family. It is endemic to the islands of Réunion.


The taxon mauritianus, by most authorities previously considered a subspecies, is now usually considered a separate monotypic species, the Mauritius grey white-eye (Zosterops mauritianus). Together, both species were called Mascarene white-eye.

There is some uncertainty about the number of subspecies on Réunion, with most authorities only accepting a single, the nominate (Z. b. borbonicus), while some also accept Z. b. alopekion, and Z. b. xerophilus. When only a single Réunion subspecies is accepted, alopekion and xerophilus are considered to represent morphs of the nominate.



Gray morph

It has a length of 9.5 cm. Its plumage exhibits a color morph which varies from gray to brown. The rump is colored conspicuous white, the rest of the body is blue grey. The legs are nearly blackish. There is also a conspicuous ring of white feathers around the chestnut colored eyes.


It inhabits woodlands, forests, and gardens. It is the only endemic bird from Réunion which has adapted to man-made conditions. Its diet consists of insects, fruits and nectar. It is also the pollinator for orchids like Angraecum striatum or the endemic Trochetia species. It moves often in small groups from six to twenty birds in search of food. They are very noisy. The breeding period is in the southern summer. The female lays two to four pale blue eggs in a cup-shaped nest which is padded with plant material.

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