Sangkar White-eye Zosterops melanurus

Panji G. Akbar and Bas van Balen
Version: 2.0 — Published June 18, 2020


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Little information, with most data from pre-split species in other regions. More research is required.


Season January through October (peak May–June) in Java (BvB).

Nest Site

Site Characteristics

Nest is suspended from bifurcating (nearly) horizontal twigs, or even leaf petioles at end of twig, and often small enough to hang between two adjoining leaves (BvB), usually below 10 meters (PGA).


Construction Process

Built by female, or by both sexes, taking c. 4–6 days.

Structure and Composition

A delicate-looking, thin-walled tiny cup 5 cm high, 6–7 cm wide, and 3cm deep, woven from vegetable floss (grass, plant fiber, and bryophytes), strengthened with spider webs, moss, animal hair, and fine grass strips; sometimes only jute (Corchorus) cord used (BvB). Birds from urban areas (such as Jakarta) reported to use various man-made material including plastics, tissue paper, and kite string (K. Yordan, personal communication).


No information.

Maintenance or Reuse of Nests

No information.



Average dimensions 15.2 × 11.4 mm (BvB).


Ranges from turquoise-blue (fading to pale blue) to greenish-blue.

Clutch Size

Ranges from 2–4 eggs; almost always 2 in Java.


Incubated by both sexes over a period of 10-11 days (BvB).

Parental Care

Care of young by both parents (BvB).

Cooperative Breeding

Helpers have been recorded in other species of Zosterops, (e.g., Seychelles White-eyes [Zosterops modesta]; 30), but no information available for Sangkar White-eye.

Brood Parasitism by Other Species

Recently reported as a host for Plaintive Cuckoo (Cacomantis merulinus) and Brush Cuckoo (C. variolosus) (31).

Fledgling Stage

Fledging period 10-11 days, after which they are totally dependent on parents for the next 10-14 days (BvB).

Recommended Citation

Akbar, P. G. and B. van Balen (2020). Sangkar White-eye (Zosterops melanurus), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.sanwhe2.02