Family New World Blackbirds (Icteridae)

Least Concern

Pale-eyed Blackbird (Agelasticus xanthophthalmus)


French: Carouge à oeil clair German: Gelbaugenstärling Spanish: Varillero ojipálido

Agelaius xanthophthalmus


, 1969,

Tingo Maria, Huánuco, Peru


Closely related to A. cyanopus. Monotypic.


Very local in lowlands of Amazonian Ecuador (Orellana) and Peru (San Martín, Huánuco, Junín and Madre de Dios).

Descriptive notes

Male average 20·5 cm, 43 g; female 18·2 cm. A slender-billed all-dark icterid with pale eyes. Male is entirely black with slight bluish-green gloss, also ultraviolet... read more


Song, by both sexes, variable series of repeated notes, e.g. “chee-cheee-chee...” or “tew-tew-tew... read more


Wetlands, particularly edges of oxbow lakes, with abundant emergent and floating vegetation; seems... read more

Food and feeding

Main food insects; presumably other arthropods, and seeds, also taken. Obtains prey by gaping in the sheathing bases of grass leaves and in... read more


Season Nov in Peru. Scant data indicate monogamy and solitary breeding. One nest described, built from plant materials like strips of the... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Scarce to rare, and very local. Known from very few localities. Because of its restricted range and relatively small populations, it might require... read more

Recommended citation

Fraga, R. (2019). Pale-eyed Blackbird (Agelasticus xanthophthalmus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 11 December 2019).