Nosa’: Guam subspecies is extinct

Scientific Name: Zosterops conspicillatus conspicillatus (Family ZOSTEROPIDAE)

Common Name: Guam Bridled White-eye

CHamoru Name: Nosa’

Audio sample of the Nosa

Habitat and Natural History: Nosa’ live in native limestone and ravine forest trees as well as tangantangan thickets. Nests are placed high in the tree canopy and are made of grass lined with hair or small roots. The nests, which look like hanging baskets, are held together with spider webs. A pair lay two-four blue eggs. Chicks fledge in 12 days.

Description: The Nosa’ are very small (four inches or 10 centimeters), who’s common name “white-eye” describes the ring of white feathers that encircle the eye. Very social, they move in large flocks and are very active. Mostly green and yellow with grayish crown, they sport white spectacles.

Range: Three distinct subspecies separately occupy Guam, Saipan, Rota and Tinian in the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands.

Current Status: The endemic Guam subspecies of nosa’ is now extinct. Subspecies of the nosa’ live in the wild in the CNMI.

Threats: Extinction of the Guam subspecies is attributed to habitat loss and predation by the introduced brown treesnake. The cause of the population decline in the Northern Marianas is currently unknown.

Where to see it: You can visit the nosa’ at the Guam Zoological, Botanical, and Marine Garden, also known as Cushing Zoo.

By Gretchen R. Grimm, MS