They might only grow to about 15 cm tall and weigh only 5-10 g, but the hardy Silvereye has amazing stamina. Silvereyes can live for up to ten years, which is a long time for such a tiny bird. They can also fly extremely long distances when they migrate at the end of summer. Some travel all the way from Tasmania right up to southern Queensland, over 1,600 km.
Silvereyes are very easy to recognise. As their name suggests, they have a ring of white or silvery feathers in a ring around their eyes. Silvereyes look a little different, depending on where they come from in Australia, but generally they have olive green and grey feathers.
Flowering trees are a magnet for Silvereyes, so look out for them in gardens, parks and even orchards when trees and shrubs are flowering.
They especially love to eat the fruit of the Spreading Flax-Lilly, and the berries of the Beard Heath. Silvereyes in Western Australia nest in the foliage of the Black Coral Pea, which is one of Western Australia's famous 'upside-down' flowers.
Be a Backyard Buddy
Silvereyes make their tiny nests about 5 m up in tree forks, so be sure to look carefully before pruning any of your trees between August and February. There might be Silvereye babies or eggs about.
Silvereyes don't just eat nectar and fruit. They also love a feast of insects, so they are great to have in your garden. In fact, Silvereyes will help to keep a lot of the insects that damage plants under control.
You might not see very many Silvereyes when the weather gets cold, especially in south eastern areas of Australia. When it starts to get a little chilly in autumn, Silvereyes form large flocks and fly to warmer areas for the winter. If you live in north eastern New South Wales or southern Queensland, you may be lucky enough to have southern Silvereyes visiting you for the winter.
But they don't like:
Be a Buddy to Silvereyes
Don't be surprised if Silvereyes:
A few more Silvereye facts
The Crimson Chat is part of a subfamily of Epthianuridae, which include chats and honeyeaters. They are known for their long, thin bills that are designed for finding insects and spiders. Look for the Crimson Chat walking more often than hopping on the ground. Other names for the Crimso..
Grey Fantails are extremely active little birds. Their distinctive flying style has earned them the nicknames Mad Fans or Cranky Fans. Agile but erratic, Grey Fantails are very adept at hunting for food mid-air. They eat many different kinds of insects such as flies, wasps and bees. Smaller..
Rufous Fantails belong to the flycatcher family, and like their relatives, they build distinctive wine glass shaped nests, which have a stem extending from the base. Migration is a largely solo affair for these birds. Rufous Fantails don’t form flocks to head north, but generally go alone or..
Small birds are fantastic to have in your garden as they help pollinate, disperse seeds, control insect numbers and recycle nutrients. A garden with small birds visiting it is a healthy garden. Small birds need a layered garden that has different types of plants such as trees, shrubs, grasse..
Splendid Fairy-wrens live in communal blended families. This matriarchy is run by one single female, the mother. Dad is the only breeding male, and the rest of the flock can contain up to six helpers, including adult sons born in previous seasons. These social wrens usually live in the same ..
Superb fairy-wrens are also known as blue wrens. They live as a family group. Only the mother sits on the eggs, the others in the group feed and protect the babies allowing the mother to lay up to three broods per season. Fairy-wrens have weak powers of flight but have long legs and spen..