Nosa’: Guam subspecies is extinct

Scientific Name: Zosterops conspicillatus conspicillatus (Family ZOSTEROPIDAE)

Common Name: Guam Bridled White-eye

Chamorro Name: Nosa’



Audio sample of the Nosa’

Habitat and Natural History: They 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 twelve days.

Description: The Nosa’ are very small (four inches or ten 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 is extinct. It was last seen in the wild in 1983. Populations in the Northern Marianas are rapidly declining.

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.

By Gretchen R. Grimm, MS