Japanese White-Eye


Japanese White-Eye (Zostérops du Japon | Zosterops japonicus): Today will feature the first of a series of photos of the introduced birds commonly seen in Kaua’i. Endemic birds have struggled throughout the Hawaiian islands after the arrival of the first humans and the transformation of their natural habitats. The pace of the disappearance of these birds accelerated with the arrival of European colonizers. Over the years, the endemics were almost entirely replaced by introduced birds, especially in urban and cultivated areas.

Known as the mejiro (メジロ, 目白) in Japanese, the Japanese White-eye was introduced to the Hawaiian islands in the 1920s and 30s to control insect populations in crops and agricultural areas. This is a rather attractive little bird, but there is much evidence that they are especially harmful to endemic birds, because white-eyes have expanded to old-growth forests and efficiently hunt for insects. If you are interested by this subject, you may want to read the following article.

This is one of of the earliest photos taken with my new (and fabulous) Nikon lens. Taken on December 27, 2015, with a handheld Nikon D5200 and AF-S NIKKOR 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR (ISO 400 | 500mm | f/5.6 | 1/1600), cropped. Not baited, called in or set up.


5 thoughts on “Japanese White-Eye

  1. Beautiful photo!

    Especially interesting species for me as I’ve been working on a “virtual” life list of international birds seen on live web-cams, and this is one of my favorite species from the Japanese web-cam I watch. Always surprising how introduced non-natives of any taxa often exhibit competitive advantage over native species that have co-evolved with each other and the environment for millennia.

    1. Thanks again, Diane. This virtual life list of yours is an intriguing idea. It certainly costs less (and may be less dangerous) than attempting a Big Year, although travelling the world can make you discover fascinating places. And I agree that the impact of introduced species is a fascinating subject, though it can be a bit depressing in relatively small and isolated island groups (such as the Hawaiian archipelago), since the native species have little chance to bounce back from the changes.

      1. I love following your blog! I have decided that I needed to upgrade to a SLR. Christmas brought me a Canon EOS Rebel T6i. I am excited to begin a new adventure and am already saving my pennies for the next upgrade. So much to learn!!!

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