Blue Mockingbird Melanotis caerulescens

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Mimidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Haley Vaseghi, Carlos A. Soberanes-González, Claudia I. Rodríguez-Flores, and Marîa del Coro Arizmendi

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. Complicating matters, the adult's dark and subtle plumage—deep blue with a black ear patch (hence Melanotis: black ear), black tarsi, and a ruby red eye—blends well with its shadowy world. Endemic to Mexico, from Sonora and Tamaulipas south to Oaxaca, and with a few records in the southwestern United States, this species occurs from sea level to over 3000 meters, and in a variety of habitats including thorn forest, seasonally moist woodland, and montane pines. The song of Blue Mockingbird consists of a great variety of flutey phrases whose content and cadence change frequently. When not actively singing, it utters widely spaced notes that may alert one to its presence. East of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, and ranging southeast to Honduras and El Salvador, Blue Mockingbird is replaced by its sister species, Blue-and-white Mockingbird (Melanotis hypoleucus), which is similar but with snowy white underparts.


© Geoffrey A. Keller

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

Recommended Citation

Vaseghi, H., C. A. Soberanes-González, C. I. Rodríguez-Flores, and M. d. C. Arizmendi (2014). Blue Mockingbird (Melanotis caerulescens), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.