American Birding Podcast



#ABArare – Tropical Mockingbird – Florida

A bird that will undoubtedly prompt some discussion with regard to provenance, an apparent Tropical Mockingbird was discovered at Lake Worth Municipal Beach in Palm Beach County, Florida. The bird was initially found on June 1 and only recently reported. This species is not currently on the ABA Checklist and its inclusion here should not be interpreted as an opinion as to its origin. We’re just getting the word out.

Lake Worth Municipal Park is on the barrier island east of the city of Lake Worth, and just south of West Palm Beach on Florida’s Atlantic Coast. From Lake Worth, that Lake Avenue out to its terminus. The bird has been seen frequenting the Lower Parking Area with a loose flock of Northern Mockingbirds.

Tropical Mockingbird is a permanent resident from southern Mexico, including the Yucatan peninsula, throughout Central America into northern Brazil. The species is similar to Northern Mockingbird, Mimus polyglottos, but lacks the white patches in the wings and shows significantly less white in a longer tail.  Vocalizations and behavior are often indistinguishable from Northern Mockingbird and in the past the two species have been considered conspecific (Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America, Howell and Webb).

The ABA Area has has Tropical Mockingbird before, an individual at Sabine Woods on the Upper Texas Coast in April 2012 that was seen by many, but ultimately not accepted by the Texas Bird Records Committee due to concerns about provenance. Tropical Mockingbird is a popular cage bird in Mexico.