Notice for readers: On March 31, Neotropical Birds will be integrated into the new Birds of the World, a powerful research database offering species accounts for every species on earth. Learn more at While Birds of the World is a subscription service, we remain committed to offering this content to Neotropical Birds contributors and to those unable to pay for it through our scholarship program. Stay tuned.

Black Catbird Melanoptila glabrirostris

  • © John McKean

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. It formerly was present in Honduras, from whence the type specimen originates, but has not been recorded there since the 1850s. The species is uniformly glossy blue-black, with dark reddish irides, a long tail and rather short wings. Black Catbird inhabits scrubby, low-stature woodland and thorn scrub, where it is generally fairly common, at least over much of the species’ mainland range. Although considered to be largely resident and sedentary, this catbird appears to vacate the drier northern Yucatan Peninsula between late summer and early winter.

Help complete this species

There are many ways to contribute—we need species information, photographs, audio, video, translations, maps, distribution data, and bird sightings. There's a role for everyone!

Learn more


© Matthew D. Medler

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Black Catbird (Melanoptila glabrirostris), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: