Updated: Jul 1, 2019
One of the first Australian Birds I ever photographed was a Silvereye. I remember it was in a tree not too far from where I was living, just off the road, with its three little chicks chirping madly at it for a feed.
I had not had my DSLR that long really, maybe a couple of weeks. I remember that excitement took over and I just clicked away wildly, feeling so lucky to have been witness to this family of delicate little birds carry on with their lives as if I wasn’t even there at all. There is something so magical about an encounter like that in nature. It makes you feel very special….almost ‘chosen’ in a way. It’s a shame that none of the photos turned out, as I hadn’t developed my camera skills yet!
The white circle around the eye of the birds is what stood out to me first. This feature is of course how they get their name. They are sometimes also called Wax Eyes but I think Silvereye is a much better name.
At just 15cm tall and weighing only 5-10 grams it would be easy to underestimate these tiny, olive green and grey beauties; but they migrate very long distances. Some fly from the southern tip of Tasmania all the way to southern Queensland! That's around 1200 kilometers! That is a long way on tiny little wings!
Silvereyes eat insects, fruits and nectar, and as you can see from the photo below, they are perfectly camouflaged for sitting in Raspberry bushes. If you were just glancing by the bush, you would not even notice one perched there. They will often take shelter in bushes or tree ferns to stay safe from predators.
Silvereyes are mostly found in the southeast of Australia, but their range extends from Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, all the way south and then west to Shark Bay in Western Australia. They can also be found in Tasmania. Silvereyes are currently not an endangered species, and I hope they never will be. Such a beautiful bird.