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Bertrando Campos

White-shouldered Fire-eye (Pyriglena leucoptera)

The fire-eyes form a superspecies, of which the White-shouldered Fire-eye is the southeastern representative of the genus. It is virtually confined to eastern Brazil, where the species ranges as far north as eastern Bahia, but also penetrates northeasternmost Argentina, in the province of Misiones. Within the species’ range, the White-shouldered Fire-eye is a highly distinctive and relatively common member of the avifauna. Pairs or family groups forage together, low above the ground, searching for insects, and sometimes joining mixed-species flocks within the dense undergrowth of forest and second growth. Males are largely black with bold white wing markings and a mid-sized interscapular patch (often visible when the bird is singing), and a staring red eye, whilst females are virtually entirely warm brown but paler below, with a blackish tail, and also has red irides.

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