Fire-eyed diucon (Xolmis pyrope)

Fire-eyed diucon
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Fire-eyed diucon fact file

Fire-eyed diucon description

GenusXolmis (1)

The English name of this bird derives from its striking bright red eyes, which provide a colourful contrast against the relatively dull grey plumage. The fire-eyed diucon’s upperparts are uniform dark grey, with darker wings, while the underparts are pale greyish white, with a whiter throat, lightly streaked with grey. While this species is not particularly vocal, it does produce a soft “pit” or “whit” note (2).

Also known as
Length: 21 – 21.5 cm (2)

Fire-eyed diucon biology

A conspicuous species, the fire-eyed diucon can be commonly observed perched in the open, scanning the surroundings for insects and other invertebrates. Prey is caught on the wing or snatched from the ground during short, swift flights from a nearby perch (4) (5). This species also consumes fruit, probably most commonly during the austral winter (2).

Breeding takes place between September and December, with the female creating a small nest from twigs and grass, lined with feathers and hair, which is placed in a tree or bush (4).


Fire-eyed diucon range

The fire-eyed diucon is found in central and southern Chile and adjacent southern Argentina, as far south as Tierra del Fuego (2). There are also a few records of this species on the Falkland Islands, and vagrant individuals have been found on South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (2) (3). While most populations are resident at a single location throughout the year, populations from the southern part of this species’ range migrate northwards in the winter (4).


Fire-eyed diucon habitat

The fire-eyed diucon occupies woodland edges, as well as shrubby clearings (2).


Fire-eyed diucon status

Classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Least Concern


Fire-eyed diucon threats

There are currently no major threats to the fire-eyed diucon’s survival. It has a large range and is considered to be common in many locations (1).


Fire-eyed diucon conservation

While there are currently no specific conservation measures in place for the fire-eyed diucon (1), it is likely to be present in several protected areas throughout its range (6).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.

Find out more

To learn more about conservation initiatives in the fire-eyed diucon’s range visit:

For more information on this and other bird species please see:



Authenticated (11/06/2009) by Dr. Robert S. Ridgely, World Land Trust-US.



Animals with no backbone.
Referring to a group of more than 5,000 species of small to medium-sized birds which have widely varied plumage and shape. They all have three toes pointing forward and one directed backward which assists with perching, and are sometimes known as perching birds or song birds.


  1. IUCN Red List (May, 2009)
  2. Ridgely, R.S. and Tudor, G. (1994) The Birds of South America, Volume 11: The Suboscine Passerines. The University of Texas Press, Austin.
  3. Ridgely, R.S. (2009) Pers. comm.
  4. del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Sargatal, J. (2004) Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 9: Cotingas to Pipits and Wagtails. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona.
  5. Gould, J. and Darwin, C.R. (1839) Birds Part 3 No. 3 of The zoology of the voyage of H.M.S. Beagle. Smith Elder and Co, London. Available at:
  6. World Database on Protected Areas (May, 2009)

Image credit

Fire-eyed diucon  
Fire-eyed diucon

© James C Lowen

James C Lowen
Tel: 00 54 11 4790 8582


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