Fire-eyed diucon (Xolmis pyrope)
|Also known as:||Diucón|
|Size||Length: 21 – 21.5 cm (2)|
Classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (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).
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).
The fire-eyed diucon occupies woodland edges, as well as shrubby clearings (2).
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).
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).
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).
To learn more about conservation initiatives in the fire-eyed diucon’s range visit:
- The Nature Conservancy:
- Conservacion Patagonia:
- Falklands Conservation:
For more information on this and other bird species please see:
- BirdLife International:
Authenticated (11/06/2009) by Dr. Robert S. Ridgely, World Land Trust-US.
- Invertebrates: animals with no backbone.
- Passerine: 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.
IUCN Red List (May, 2009)
- Ridgely, R.S. and Tudor, G. (1994) The Birds of South America, Volume 11: The Suboscine Passerines. The University of Texas Press, Austin.
- Ridgely, R.S. (2009) Pers. comm.
- 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.
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:
World Database on Protected Areas (May, 2009)