Family Mockingbirds and Thrashers (Mimidae)

Least Concern

Tropical Mockingbird (Mimus gilvus)


French: Moqueur des savanes German: Tropenspottdrossel Spanish: Sinsonte tropical

Turdus gilvus


, 1808,

French Guiana


Sometimes considered conspecific with M. polyglottos; see that species. Race magnirostris sometimes treated as a separate species and antelius also mentioned in HBW as a potential split, but both are rather weakly marked in plumage and vocally they lie within the range of the rest of the species#R. Population of tolimensis in Pacific lowlands of Central America (El Salvador S to Panama) originates largely from escaped cagebirds imported from Colombia. Ten subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. g. gracilis Cabanis, 1851 – S Mexico (E from E Veracruz and E Oaxaca) S to Honduras and El Salvador.
  • M. g. leucophaeus Ridgway, 1888 – Yucatán Peninsula, Cozumel I and other offshore islands.
  • M. g. magnirostris Cory, 1887 – San Andrés I, in SW Caribbean (off E Nicaragua).
  • M. g. rostratus Ridgway, 1884 – S Caribbean islands (Aruba E to Blanquilla).
  • M. g. antillarum Hellmayr & Seilern, 1915 – Lesser Antilles S from Antigua.
  • M. g. tolimensis Ridgway, 1904 – W & C Colombia S to extreme N Ecuador.
  • M. g. melanopterus Lawrence, 1849 – N & NE Colombia, most of Venezuela (including Margarita I and Los Testigos), Guyana and N Brazil (Roraima).
  • M. g. tobagensis Dalmas, 1900 – Trinidad and Tobago.
  • M. g. gilvus (Vieillot, 1808) – Suriname and French Guiana.
  • M. g. antelius Oberholser, 1919 – coastal NE & E Brazil (S to Rio de Janeiro).
  • Race tolimensis introduced in E El Salvador S to Costa Rica and C Panama#R.

    Descriptive notes

    23–25·5 cm; 88 g (tolimensis), means 58·4 g (melanopterus), 46·4 g (antillarum), 45·5 g (rostratus).... read more


    Song, often heard at night, a varied and long-continued sequence of diverse mellow to harsh notes,... read more


    Generally open, scrubby, edge and savanna habitat, and arid coastal scrubland; common in disturbed... read more

    Food and feeding

    Broadly omnivorous. Diet comprises wide variety of arthropods, small fruits and berries, also larger crop fruits such as mango, sapodilla.... read more


    Extended season, e.g. Jan–Sept in Venezuela and in all months except Aug and Dec in Trinidad, but generally in late dry season to... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common and conspicuous nearly throughout range; less common in newly colonized areas, such as recently cleared highlands, and on... read more

    Recommended citation

    Cody, M. (2018). Tropical Mockingbird (Mimus gilvus). 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 October 2018).