Tropical Mockingbird Mimus gilvus


The Tropical Mockingbird is the neotropical counterpart to the Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottus), replacing Northern Mockingbird south of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. The two species are similar in appearance, but Tropical Mockingbird has less white in the wings, lacking the white primary coverts and white bases to the primaries of Northern Mockingbird. The distribution of this species is discontinuous. The original range was southern Mexico south to Honduras, and again in northern South America, but with a gap from central Honduras south to Colombia. In the 1930s, however, an introduced population was discovered in central Panama. Tropical Mockingbird occupies open habitats with scattered shrubs and trees, and readily colonizes towns and gardens. It often perches in exposed sites, such as along telephone or electric lines or in the tops of shrubs. This species is primarily insectivorous, but also consumes small vertebrates and small fruit. The song of the Tropical Mockingbird is a long musical series of phrases, many of which are repeated several times. Unlike the Northern Mockingbird, however, the Tropical Mockingbird is not reported to mimic other species.

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© Matthew D. Medler

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

Recommended Citation

Tropical Mockingbird (Mimus gilvus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: