Fatbirder - linking birders worldwide... Wildlife Travellers see our sister site: WAND

Mimidae

Mockingbird
Chalk-browed Mockingbird Mimus saturninus ©James Lowen Website

The mimids are the New World family of passerine birds, Mimidae, that includes thrashers, mockingbirds, tremblers, and the New World catbirds. As their name (Latin for 'mimic') suggests, these birds are notable for their vocalisation, especially some species' remarkable ability to mimic a wide variety of birds and other sounds heard outdoors.

There are over 30 species of mimids in two larger and some 10 small or monotypic genera. They tend towards dull greys and browns in their appearance, though a few are black or blue-grey, and many have red, yellow, or white irises. They range from 20 to 33 centimetres in length, and 36 to 56 grams in weight. Many mimids have a rather thrush-like pattern: brown above, pale with dark streaks or spots below. They tend to have longer tails than thrushes (or the bigger wrens, which they also resemble) and longer bills that in many species curve downward.

They have long, strong legs (for passerines) with which many species hop through undergrowth searching for arthropods and fruits to eat. Their habitat varies from forest undergrowth to scrub, high-altitude grasslands, and deserts. The two tremblers live in the atypical habitat of rain forests in the Lesser Antilles, and the brown trembler has the particularly atypical behaviour of foraging while clinging to tree trunks.

All known species build somewhat messy, bulky twig nests in dense growth, in most species on the ground or no more than 2 meters up. They usually lay 2 to 5 eggs that hatch in 12 or 13 days, which is also the length of time the chicks stay in the nest. Breeding usually starts in the spring or early in the rainy season, and many species can have two or even three broods per year. Most failures to fledge young are due to predation. Pairs often stay together for more than one breeding season.

There are 34 Species in this family, all exclusive to the New World - both Western Nearctic and Neotropical zones. They are:

Grey Catbird Dumetella carolinensis

Black Catbird Melanoptila glabrirostris

Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos
Tropical Mockingbird Mimus gilvus
Bahama Mockingbird Mimus gundlachii
Chilean Mockingbird Mimus thenca
Long-tailed Mockingbird Mimus longicaudatus
Chalk-browed Mockingbird Mimus saturninus
Patagonian Mockingbird Mimus patagonicus
White-banded Mockingbird Mimus triurus
Brown-backed Mockingbird Mimus dorsalis
Galapagos Mockingbird Mimus parvulus
Floreana Mockingbird Mimus trifasciatus
Hood Mockingbird Mimus macdonaldi
San Cristobal Mockingbird Mimus melanotis
Socorro Mockingbird Mimus graysoni

Sage Thrasher Oreoscoptes montanus

Brown Thrasher Toxostoma rufum
Long-billed Thrasher Toxostoma longirostre
Cozumel Thrasher Toxostoma guttatum
Grey Thrasher Toxostoma cinereum
Bendire's Thrasher Toxostoma bendirei
Ocellated Thrasher Toxostoma ocellatum
Curve-billed Thrasher Toxostoma curvirostre
California Thrasher Toxostoma redivivum
Crissal Thrasher Toxostoma crissale
Le Conte's Thrasher Toxostoma lecontei

White-breasted Thrasher Ramphocinclus brachyurus

Blue Mockingbird Melanotis caerulescens
Blue-and-white Mockingbird Melanotis hypoleucus

Scaly-breasted Thrasher Allenia fusca

Pearly-eyed Thrasher Margarops fuscatus

Brown Trembler Cinclocerthia ruficauda
Grey Trembler Cinclocerthia gutturalis

Family Links

Mockingbirds Mimidae

Webpage

Sonograms from some species…

Mockingbirds Mimidae

Family Account

Full family account…

Mockingbirds Mimidae

Family Account

The mimids are the New World family of passerine birds, Mimidae, that includes thrashers, mockingbirds, tremblers, and the New World catbirds.

Mockingbirds Mimidae

IBC Family Account

HBW Familly account...

Species Links

Black Catbird Melanoptila glabrirostris

Species Account

The black catbird (Melanoptila glabrirostris) is a songbird species in the monotypic genus Melanoptila, part of the family Mimidae. At 19–20.5 cm (7.5–8 in) in length and 31.6–42 g (1.1–1.5 oz) in mass, it is the smallest of the mimids. Sexes appear similar, with glossy black plumage, black legs and bill, and dark brownish eyes.

Black Catbird Melanoptila glabrirostris

Cornell Species Account

The sole member of its genus, Black Catbird is one of the smallest of the Mimidae, and is endemic to the Yucatán Peninsula of eastern Mexico, northern Belize and northern Guatemala, including the offshore island of Cozumel and other smaller cays.

Black Catbird Melanoptila glabrirostris

BirdLife Species Account

Black Catbird Melanoptila glabrirostris

HBW Species Account

Taxonomy: M[elanoptila] glabrirostris P. L. Sclater, 1858, Omoa, Honduras. Sometimes placed in genus Dumetella, to which present species certainly appears to be closely related. Separation of populations on Cozumel I (off NE Yucatán Peninsula) as race cozumelana appears unwarranted. Monotypic.

Black Catbird Melanoptila glabrirostris

IUCN Species Status

This species has a very small range which is shrinking as its habitat is cleared for resort development and coconut plantations.

Black Catbird Melanoptila glabrirostris

Species Account

Sound archive and distribution map.

Blue Mockingbird Melanotis caerulescens

Species Account

The blue mockingbird (Melanotis caerulescens) is a species of bird in the Mimidae family. It is endemic to Mexico, but has occurred as a vagrant in the southern United States. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, and heavily degraded former forest.

Blue Mockingbird Melanotis caerulescens

BirdLife Species Account

Blue Mockingbird Melanotis caerulescens

Cornell Species Account

Unlike most members of its family, Blue Mockingbird inhabits dense thickets and it's a lucky birder who observes one singing from an exposed perch.

Blue Mockingbird Melanotis caerulescens

HBW Species Account

Taxonomy: Orpheus caerulescens Swainson, 1827, Mexico. Probably forms a superspecies with M. hypoleucus; was in the past sometimes considered conspecific, but this view based on aberrant specimens of race longirostris. Proposed race effuticus (from W Mexico) generally regarded as indistinguishable from nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Blue Mockingbird Melanotis caerulescens

Species Account

Sound archive and distribution map.

Brown Thrasher Toxostoma rufum

Cornell Species Account

It can be tricky to glimpse a Brown Thrasher in a tangled mass of shrubbery, and once you do you may wonder how such a boldly patterned, gangly bird could stay so hidde

Brown Thrasher Toxostoma rufum

Species Account

The brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufum) is a bird in the family Mimidae, which also includes the New World catbirds and mockingbirds. The dispersal of the brown thrasher is abundant throughout the eastern and central United States, southern and central Canada, and is the only thrasher to live primarily east of the Rockies and central Texas. It is the state bird of Georgia.

Brown Thrasher Toxostoma rufum

HBW Species Account

Taxonomy: Turdus[] rufus Linnaeus, 1758, South Carolina, USA. Forms a superspecies with T. longirostre and T. guttatum, and the three sometimes considered conspecific. Two subspecies recognized.

Brown Thrasher Toxostoma rufum

Species Account

Sound archive and distribution map.

Chalk-browed Mockingbird Mimus saturninus

BirdLife Species Account

Chalk-browed Mockingbird Mimus saturninus

Species Account

The chalk-browed mockingbird (Mimus saturninus) is a bird found in most of Brazil, and parts of Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, and Suriname.

Chalk-browed Mockingbird Mimus saturninus

Species Account

The chalk-browed mockingbird (Mimus saturninus) is a bird found in most of Brazil, and parts of Bolivia, Uruguay, Paraguay, Argentina, and Suriname.

Chalk-browed Mockingbird Mimus saturninus

HBW Species Account

Taxonomy: Turdus saturninus M. H. K. Lichtenstein, 1823, Pará, Brazil. Thought most closely related to, and perhaps forming a superspecies with, M. patagonicus. Four subspecies recognized.

Chalk-browed Mockingbird Mimus saturninus

Cornell Species Account

The Chalk-browed Mockingbird is common in open habitats in eastern South America, at least as long as a few trees are present.

Chalk-browed Mockingbird Mimus saturninus

IUCN Species Status

The global population size has not been quantified, but this species is described as 'common' (Stotz et al. (1996).

Chalk-browed Mockingbird Mimus saturninus

Species Account

Sound archive and distribution map.

Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis

Species Account

Sound archive and distribution map.

Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis

IUCN Species Status

IUCN species profile

Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis

HBW Species Account

HBW species account

Gray Catbird Dumetella carolinensis

IBC Species Account

IBC species account and taxonomy

Hood Mockingbird Nesomimus macdonaldi

Species Account

The Hood mockingbird (Mimus macdonaldi) also known as the Española mockingbird is a species of bird in the Mimidae family. It is endemic to Española Island in the Galápagos Islands, Ecuador, and it is one of four closely related mockingbird species endemic to the Galápagos archipelago.

Hood Mockingbird Nesomimus macdonaldi

BirdLife Species Account

Hood Mockingbird Nesomimus macdonaldi

Image

Hood Mockingbird Nesomimus macdonaldi

Species Account

Sound archive and distribution map.

Long-tailed Mockingbird Mimus longicaudatus

Species Account

The long-tailed mockingbird (Mimus longicaudatus) is a species of bird in the Mimidae family. It is found in dry scrubland and woodland in western Ecuador.

Long-tailed Mockingbird Mimus longicaudatus

Cornell Species Account

The Long-tailed Mockingbird is largely restricted to the Pacific coast of South America, where it is found from western Ecuador south to western Peru. The species has also been reported, perhaps erroneously from northernmost Chile.

Long-tailed Mockingbird Mimus longicaudatus

HBW Species Account

Taxonomy: M[imus] longicaudatus Tschudi, 1844, Peru. Most closely related to M. thenca, with which forms a superspecies; both appear closest to genus Nesomimus. Nominate race and albogriseus appear to intergrade in NW Peru. Race maranonicus doubtfully distinct from nominate. Four subspecies tentatively recognized.

Long-tailed Mockingbird Mimus longicaudatus

Species Account

Sound archive and distribution map.

Long-tailed Mockingbird Mimus longicaudatus

BirdLife Species Account

Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos

Cornell Species Account

If you’ve been hearing an endless string of 10 or 15 different birds singing outside your house, you might have a Northern Mockingbird in your yard.

Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos

Species Account

The northern mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) is the only mockingbird commonly found in North America.

Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos

Species Account

Sound archive and distribution map.

Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos

BirdLife Species Account

Northern Mockingbird Mimus polyglottos

HBW Species Account

Number of Species

Number of bird species: 34