Family Mockingbirds and Thrashers (Mimidae)

Near Threatened

Black Catbird (Melanoptila glabrirostris)


French: Moqueur noir German: Glanzspottdrossel Spanish: Pájaro gato negro

M[elanoptila]. glabrirostris

P. L. Sclater

, 1858,

Omoa, Honduras


Separation of population on Cozumel I (off NE Yucatán Peninsula) as race cozumelana appears unwarranted. Monotypic.


Yucatán Peninsula S to S Campeche (Mexico), N Guatemala and N Belize, including Cozumel I and other nearby Caribbean reefs.

Descriptive notes

19–20·5 cm; 31·6–42 g, average 36·3 g. This and Dumetella are the smallest mimids; has wings short and rounded, tail somewhat long.... read more


Repeated phrases of harsh, scratchy to warbled, fluty notes. Call notes a nasal “chrrh... read more


Scrub, deciduous thorn-scrub, woodland edges and low deciduous woodland with dense shrub... read more

Food and feeding

No detailed studies. Forages low down; gleans insects in dense, shrubby vegetation. Superficially similar to Dumetella carolinensis... read more


Nest building starts in early May, in Belize; small young in nest in mid-Aug, at Cancún. Nest an open cup of twigs, lined with finer... read more


Largely resident; may move S seasonally from drier N parts of Yucatán Peninsula in late... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Relatively common near coast and on islands, but uncommon to rare and local throughout most of mainland range;... read more

Recommended citation

Cody, M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Black Catbird (Melanoptila glabrirostris). 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 21 April 2019).